NASA's Virtual Recruitment Event With 500+ Participants
The global leader in space exploration hosted its fall intern recruitment event in Kumospace. In September 2021, NASA hosted its annual fall internship recruiting event online. More than 500 students, including undergraduates and graduate students, attended the seminar in the immersive virtual event platform Kumospace.
In Kumospace, participants met NASA hiring managers in a vivid, realistic setting that mimics the real world. Prospective intern recruits could freely move in and out of conversations using Kumospace's proximity chat, or spatial audio. With spatial audio the closer you are to others in Kumospace the louder you can hear them.
Using Kumospace for virtual recruiting also helped Esteban's team save time and resources. "To a certain extent, because we are a public service agency we can't, at times, compete financially against industry. The hours, planning logistics, and the number of meetings that were cut back due to the fact that we weren't traveling were really significant," he says. "The travel dollars decreased and so did things like paying for the booth space as well as the printing budget to make the brochures and shipping charges."
The remote location of the hiring event also helped attract a diverse candidate pool, democratizing access to many who may have not been able to attend an in-person event because of time or location. "We have students as far as Alaska, Hawaii, and even students located at Native American reservations that probably wouldn't have been able to participate in our recruitment event had the event not become virtual," Esteban says.
One distinctive feature of Kumospace is that hosts can customize different virtual floors by choosing from a range of furniture and decor options and they can add their own Spotify playlists, YouTube videos, logos, or pictures. Esteban worked with his team to customize more than a dozen floors in Kumospace complete with NASA-themed floors that matched the real-life NASA centers. "We had a Johnson floor, we had a Goddard Space Flight Center floor, we had a Kennedy Space Center floor — we had all nine of our centers. Within those floors, we had hiring managers that were invited to speak to these students," Esteban explains.
Esteban created a NASA Recruiting Office room and customized it with collaboration spaces, huddle rooms, a break room, and even a piano playing classical music. He also included YouTube TVs featuring informational videos, which was a feature in all of the NASA Kumospace floors.
"The ability to have the videos from the NASA centers loop in the background really helped," he says. "Because as much as students would talk to our technical experts, our hiring managers, and our program experts they also had the ability to go listen to the videos, which provided them useful information about the programs and other information about our missions."
The students weren't the only participants that found Kumospace engaging.
"Even our executives, because we had a few executives participating in the event, found Kumospace out-of-the-box, engaging, and innovative, which is what NASA strives for. Exploring the unknown, finding new ways in order to reach for the stars, and land on planets. That's us."