My Tech Internship: The-1001-expectations

image001So why in the world would I decide to start a blog? I always thought blogs were for those individuals who have managed to change history through their actions, discovered the cure to a rare disease or have won an olympic gold medal. I have done none of these three things (at least not yet!), but I figured it would be interesting to record the next chapter in my life, most importantly professionally, but also personally. 

The purpose of my words, arranged in a particular context, is to inspire women and men, who like me, have latent passions awaiting to come true. This could be living in another country, working in a high-tech ‘cool’ industry, or making a complete life switch to make a higher impact. The latter, as I discovered when reading Elon Musk’s biography, is the one that applies to me best. 

In a couple of days, I will start my summer internship at Tesla. I still think fate has played a trick on me and occasionally, I let a small giggle escape. Who would have thought that many months earlier, I would be telling the universe that I refuse to return to the corporate world unless it was to work for Tesla. This was at the time when I was just starting my MBA and was reflecting upon what I wanted out of life. After all, this was the whole point of quitting my job, moving across continents and becoming a student again. I was desperately looking for inspiration, creativity and a mission-driven career path (I must warn you, the idealist in me will start to show up). And then, that actual call from Tesla came about. So first moral of the story, if you really really really want something: ask the universe what it is that you want and the universe might just grant you your wish. I know it sounds like something from The Secret…but in my case the stars did align. 

Now, in all honesty, I have no idea what to expect about this amazing opportunity. Actually, I have yet to accept the fact that I have been chosen to join Elon’s vision. As Tesla overtakes GM as top car manufacturer w.r.t. valuation, it is positioned on the likes of Google and Facebook for pushing the envelope in terms of innovation and also for being the most enthralling places to work. The one mental picture I have in my head of the physical plant consists of red shiny robots putting together a chassis and a sleek auto body, all working in unison, out of a Terminator movie. My first day, as I walk into the Fremont plant someone will pass me a wrench and ask me to go fix the arm of one of the shiny robots. I’ll just convey obediently. 

And so, as I make my way though the lines of Harvard, MIT and Stanford recruits, I try to define what my role will be. As an engineer at heart, I cannot wait to see how these robots mechanically manage to operate smoothly, and how can a car function without a combustion engine. As a first year MBA, I want to understand how the named-after-Nikola-Tesla company does business differently on the daily basis with suppliers, customers, and managers. Is it more like “we are Tesla, we are cool and this is what we expected done…yesterday” or perhaps more like “Elon said we needed those 500,000 pre-ordered cars produced and delivered by the end of the summer, and that’s what we’ll do at all costs” or even “we have this magic machine that secretly makes whatever we thought out, and you have now become part of our tribe and are sworn to secrecy”. 

Will I love Tesla and Elon’s mission to change the world? Or instead, like an odd Lego piece, struggle to fit in? What if I am indeed sworn to secrecy and cannot share my excitement through my writing. Guess, I will have three full months to find this out. 

2 thoughts on “My Tech Internship: The-1001-expectations”

  1. Great job, Paula!!! I loved reading this:) excited for your summer to begin! And the last thing you are is a struggling Lego piece;) congratulations!

    Like

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