This Is What a Day in the Life of a Tesla Intern Is Like

What's a day in the life of a Tesla intern like? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Eddie Lin, former Tesla Service Engineering Intern, on Quora:

It varies hugely between teams and the projects you'll be working on, but I'll try to cover my bases here. I was a service engineering intern hired for my experience in solving technical problems in a mechanical engineering setting at the Palo Alto HQ.

My Experience
8:30AM - 10:00AM
  1. Breakfast downstairs, no cereal for me, just 12-20 Costco Breakfast Sausages and a cup of masala chai. Don't hate; I like sausages.
  2. Check to see if company had gone under, email, FB, and calendar.
  3. Get second cup of chai.
Hey, the saying goes that engineers don't work till there's 4 digits on the clock. Just trying to live up to expectations.
10:00AM - 12:00PM
  1. Take care of mandatory morning business (sausages have to go somewhere), wave to Elon on the way (IGNORED! But really, he sat 40 feet from my desk).
  2. Work on project.
  3. Work on project.
  4. Buy something on Amazon.
  1. Eat lunch with interns at SAP (dirty little secret: we didn't have a cafeteria).
  2. Get froyo at SAP (SHHHH!).
  1. Check if company had gone under.
  2. Work on project.
  3. Send emails.
  4. Have a meeting (1.5 per day, on average).
  5. Work on project.
  6. 3rd cup of Chai.
  1. Play ping pong with colleagues. This was by far the most important part of the day. If we didn't practice our table tennis skills, we would be humiliated by the middle-aged Indian men who were clearly planning on going pro.
  1. Patel's daily visit to my desk (good friend who always got bored around 4:30PM).
  2. Work on project and ignore Patel.
  3. 15 sausages. Hey, I told you not to judge!
  4. Gym downstairs. Okay, it wasn't really a gym at the time I was there, more like a random assortment of leftover early 2000s home workout equipment...gotta get it in, though!
The Other Intern Experience
8:30AM - 12:00PM
  1. Eat cereal while trying every different kind of milk available (there were a lot).
  2. Be assigned a new project that needs to be completed in a ridiculously short timeframe utilizing skills that are either unfamiliar or underdeveloped.
  3. Panic.
  4. Panic with coffee.
  5. Work on projects.
  6. Work on projects.
  7. Panic.
  1. Lunch at SAP (it was mainly an intern sin).
  2. Get froyo! Very few people can resist free Pinkberry.
  3. Say goodbye to other interns, because you're sure you'll be fired.
  1. Send emails.
  2. Panic with more coffee.
  3. Walk around, procrastinate, visit friends.
  4. Have full-time colleagues ping you requesting help for things they don't know how to do.
  5. Have a massive epiphany that you can do it, and that the full-time staff are just as clueless/panicked as you.
  6. Have a meeting with Elon (about a quarter of my friends had meetings with him; a few had to demo their projects).
  7. More meetings.
  8. Buy a Miata, or any car, really. Okay, I'm joking somewhat, but there were a few interns with a few Miatas, yes, plural.
  9. Hit the "fitness equipment."
  10. Bike home (very popular among interns, probably 80% owned bikes and used them regularly).
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