Hooked on Space: Alum Profile on Catherine Cassie Rotman
Cassie Rotman ’00 first became interested in space when her kindergarten class transformed a refrigerator box into a rocket ship. She was hooked. From then on, every project and book report allowed was on the topic of space travel. Famous person report topic? John Glenn. Fifth grade research project? Space.
She even attended space camp (twice!) and was hoping to become an astronaut. But, as with many childhood dreams, Cassie’s faded as she grew older. When she got to college, following a year in Spain during high school at Brooks, Cassie became more interested in our own world. She majored in International Relations and studied abroad in Beijing, learning to speak conversational Mandarin. At Colgate College, International Relations included language, history, and economics; Cassie particularly enjoyed studies in diplomacy.
Following graduation, she joined the Boston office of Bank of New York Mellon in the Wealth Management division, staying there for four years before deciding to pursue an MBA at the Sloan School of Management at MIT.
But first, Cassie took a turn towards space again, deferring her acceptance to Sloan to take an internship at Marshall Space Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “I applied to NASA on a whim,” says Cassie, and got one of the internships at Marshall.” Her job was two-fold. She worked with the same space camp she had attended as a child and she worked to license the camp to other countries. For this, she traveled the world and demonstrated some of the space camp lessons to entice investors to open the camp elsewhere. Cassie also helped open an exhibit in Israel of artifacts of the space program; this exhibit is still traveling around the world. Did she ever consider dumping the idea of business school and staying with NASA? Yes, she says, but she really didn’t want to miss going to Sloan. So, after her internship, Cassie traveled in Europe for the summer, went to Costa Rica to learn to surf, and then visited South Africa with a friend from school before entering Sloan in 2013.
After graduation in 2015, Cassie landed a job with Deloitte, consultants to 80% of the Fortune 500 companies. She works in strategy and operations on a number of different projects in the San Francisco office. As a new employee, she joined as a generalist in strategy and operations to try out different areas such as mergers and acquisitions, to see what she prefers. Her work with huge multinational corporations sometimes takes her cities around the world. “Companies hire us to solve problems they can’t solve themselves,” Cassie explains. “I’m a generalist so I deal with any kind of problem at the client’s site.”
In her spare time, Cassie likes to do “lots of outdoor stuff like hiking.” She rowed in college and hopes to join a rowing group in San Francisco.