Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) — Even the final frontier didn't change Lauren Scallon's mind. She rejected NASA for a pulp and paper mill that gets so loud she needs earplugs and where steel-toed boots are de rigueur.

Scallon, who earned a chemical engineering degree from Purdue University last year, said the allure of mission control at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Johnson Space Center wasn't lost on her. She just couldn't pass up the chance to join International Paper Co. and get on a track that might lead to the executive suite.

"People dream of going to NASA forever," the 24-year-old said from a quiet conference room at the mill near Orange, Texas, 112 miles (180 kilometers) east of Houston. "But having the fanfare job just wasn't as important as having a future."

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