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My Summer Internship With Tesla – Part 2

The Halfway Point

Written by Latinas de RTC member Melany Gavira, a senior at the University of Notre Dame studying Mechanical Engineering and summer intern at Tesla.
Read Part 1: How It Started Here

It’s officially halfway through my internship, and it feels like the entire experience is moving very quickly. These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of opportunities for personal and professional growth as an engineer and a chance to foster a deep sense of belonging within the Tesla community. I’ve had the privilege to hear about the journeys of many remarkable women at Tesla during thoughtful lunches my supervisor has scheduled. Additionally, I joined the Latinos at Tesla group, and the meetings have been incredibly empowering due to the unity that evolves among individuals who have faced similar barriers and persisted.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve become very familiar with the layout of the factory (if we overlook the few times I walked through doors that revealed entirely new sections of the factory). I’m proud of how much ground I’ve covered in the factory and how much knowledge I’ve acquired about the processes for facility and product development. By shadowing my coworkers in the field, I’ve developed the discernment to identify and address issues independently, offering constructive input to enhance different facets of the company.

However, amidst all the growth, one of the biggest challenges this internship has posed is regarding my career plans. The passing weeks have made my eagerly anticipated senior year feel bittersweet, and it hasn’t even started yet. I’ve had ample time to reflect on my three undergraduate years leading up to this internship, and the thought of graduating seems a little daunting. My greatest fear has been selecting a career path and job position that aligns differently with my aspirations, given that I haven’t been exposed to other positions in the past. However, my supervisor has consistently demonstrated his desire to allow me to explore the full breadth of Tesla, and upon expressing this concern, he has tried his best to alleviate my fear. Most recently, he allowed me to shadow one of the design teams for a day, enabling me to further pursue all my aspirations related to Tesla. This experience provided me with the opportunity to explore other career opportunities within one internship. It also reinforced the importance of specific attributes in a job and revealed aspects I had yet to consider. For example, I’ve concluded that I appreciate working hands-on on projects and collaborating with others in the field, but I also value the use of technology and want to participate in furthering it.

I’ve also had the chance to get to know my coworkers in a different light outside of work. Our team gathered to watch the NBA finals, Nuggets vs. Heat, at Pluckers. Outside of work, everyone was able to relax and let their personalities shine through. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about my coworkers on a more personal level and creating memories that would not have otherwise occurred. I eagerly look forward to future events and reflecting on how much I’lI accomplish in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned to hear more about Melany’s internship experience in her three-part blog series on the RTC News page!

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