Physics and Honors College graduate Lindsay Salassi lands position with Bosch Engineering in Vienna

by | Jun 9, 2023

Salassi moved abroad after graduating from UMSL last fall.
Lindsay Salassi

Lindsay Salassi moved to Vienna after graduating from UMSL with a degree in physics last fall. In August, she’ll start a new position with Bosch Engineering. (Photo courtesy of Lindsay Salassi)

Lindsay Salassi enjoys breaking things down and thinking about the way they work.

“I’ve always been drawn to the question of how things work, whether that’s something technical, like ‘How does this laptop work?’ to ‘How does the universe work?’ ‘How do stars and black holes work?’ and everything in between,” she said. “Physics is just all about that question: how does it work?”

Physics, then, was a natural choice for the New Orleans native to study when she enrolled at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Yet soon after starting to study astrophysics in the Department of Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy and Statistics, she decided to switch to the UMSL/Washington University Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program. Her love of physics was hard to shake, though, and eventually, she switched back to the physics program – this time with a focus on engineering physics.

“As much as I love astrophysics, I realized that was something I wanted to keep more as a hobby,” she said. “I highly recommend both the physics and joint engineering experiences, but I really loved the physics department. It is a smaller department, so everyone is close. The faculty is all great. The courses were just very interesting to me.”

Salassi was also a member of the Pierre Laclede Honors College, and found the college’s focus on writing to be a great supplement to studying in a STEM field. While pursuing her degree at UMSL, she was able to get hands-on experience through four different internships in her field, including with Ameren Missouri, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Briem Engineering and POWER Engineers. The wide range of experience she acquired through these internships, including working in AI development with the NGA, substation design with POWER Engineers and as a materials lab technician with Briem, helped narrow the focus of what she wanted to do after college.

Moving abroad, however, was always in the back of her mind. So, after graduating from UMSL with a bachelor’s degree in physics in December 2022, Salassi moved to the Austrian capital of Vienna, where she spent a few months working for a startup company producing lithium-ion batteries.

“For me, it was all about the city,” she said. “I wanted to experience life outside of the U.S., and I determined Vienna was the best option because it’s so central in Europe, which makes it great for travel. They also do speak a lot of English, so even though I am still learning German, it’s not so much of a requirement. The city is also just gorgeous, both in terms of nature and hiking and also the city itself, the architecture. There’s also a huge international community here, so I definitely do not feel like an outsider here.”

In August, Salassi will start a new position in Vienna with Bosch Engineering, working in entry-level software development. Her new role will incorporate some electrical engineering, which has been a focus of her work previously, and she’ll also be able to interact with clients about different project needs.

In the meantime, Salassi is focused on brushing up on her German and enjoying all that Vienna has to offer. She plans to stay abroad long-term and eventually hopes to land a role in project management with more of a focus on electrical engineering. Reflecting back on her college career, she said her experience at UMSL was invaluable in setting her up for success in the professional world.

“I had so much support the entire way through switching majors and within each major,” she said. “I got lots of great internship experiences, which helped me get to where I am now. The connections that UMSL gave me for internships were really useful in figuring out what I want to do, what I don’t like doing and even just figuring out the type of company that I like working for and what’s important to me in a management team.”

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