Industrial Engineering Intern Opens Up About Life At The Tesla Gigafactory

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Thomas Berquist, an Iowa State junior working on an industrial engineering degree, spent this past summer busting tail for Tesla as an engineering project manager at Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada.

While at the Gigafactory, he worked as part of the new product introduction team that was focused on developing the standard range battery pack for the Tesla Model 3.

The motivated junior applied for internships at a number of companies, with 11 of those offering him summertime opportunities. He chose Tesla because of its missional work, according to the Iowa State Daily:

“It came down to the ones I thought would make a difference,” Berquist said. “I know Tesla is one of those companies that not just their automotive industry but their energy side of business is going to have the most impact on the world going forward in the transition to sustainable energy.”

Berquist’s passion clearly extends beyond the walls of Tesla as he spent past summers at an extended internship at Rockwell Collins as an Industrial Engineering intern, at Procter & Gamble, and even at Disney. Tesla is a nice addition to his already long list of world class companies adorning his resume.

After the dust settled on his internships to date, Berquist still isn’t sure where he wants to work after he graduates. “I have offers to go full time with the companies I have worked for, however I have not made any final decisions to see what other place I can experience,” he said. 

At Tesla, his perseverance was put to the test with long hours and difficult work. “At Tesla you’re always busy and passionate about the work, 60 hours didn’t feel like 60 hours a week.” Berquist said. “At the end of the week you crashed, but just because of the people you’re working with, the environment you’re around, everyone’s going 110 percent all the time, so you didn’t really think about working 60 hours a week.”

That sentiment echoes what we have heard from other Tesla employees, with many burning out after just a few years and only the most durable or disturbed staying in for the long haul.

Source: Iowa State Daily


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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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