If you’ve ever dreamed of working at a place like Tesla, you’ve probably wondered what kind of education or training you need to land the role. As it turns out, you don’t necessarily need to have a background in engineering, automotives or technology to work at this fast-growing company.
GOBankingRates attended the “Women Working at Tesla: Virtual Information Session” held by the company earlier this week to find out what exactly it takes to land a job working for Elon Musk.
Laurie Shelby, Vice President of EHS
Laurie Shelby, now driving environmental, health and safety performance for Tesla, had spent 25 years working at the same company before joining the company. At the time she joined, she was ready for a change — but wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted to do.
“I knew I wanted to be part of a company that manufactures something because I love manufacturing and being in a manufacturing facility, and I really love making products that are good for the earth,” she said during the information session. “During my interview at Tesla, I got to drive a Model X. The technology in that car just really sold me. I knew I wanted to be a part of the company.”
Shelby said she initially connected with Tesla via LinkedIn, and thanked the social networking platform for getting her to the next phase in her career.
“Being part of a fast-paced innovative company means you’re going to continue to grow, even when you’re like me and already have 25 years of experience in a field,” she said.
Rebecca Vincent, Director of Service & Energy Planning & Distribution
Although Rebecca Vincent received an engineering degree, she knew before even graduating college that she may not enter the field.
“I knew I wanted to move into a job and into a field that was fast-paced,” she said during the information session. “My entire career has been in operations and supply chain, and even though I honestly never really used my engineering degree, the skillset that I learned back in college to really break down complex problems and tackle issues with objective direction has been absolutely invaluable in every job I’ve had, and in particular here at Tesla. I joined the Tesla team about seven years ago to add a boost to that fast-paced lifestyle I was looking for. I joined in the early Model X build, and it’s exciting to see the business grow.”
Linsey Muller, Director of Finance Operations
Linsey Muller has been with Tesla for almost 15 years now.
“I joined completely by luck because no one had even heard of Tesla when I decided to join,” she said during the information session. “I had a friend who invited me to see this startup he worked at — they were making an electric car. I wasn’t really into it but decided to take a look anyway. They walked me into the back of the shop and I got to see the Roadster prototype and I just was blown away at that moment. It’s one of those moments when you realize you’re seeing something very special, and I absolutely wanted to be a part of it.”
Muller initially joined Tesla as an intern on the accounting team.
“My first job was processing invoices for accounts payable — true entry-level,” she said. “I moved up in the ranks through accounting. I had a lot of different functions there, and I thought my entire career path was going to be in accounting. Tesla encourages you to work cross-functionally, and I found this passion I had for systems and processes and data, which was not really accounting at all. When an opportunity presented itself, I was able to jump into this new role where I am now.”
Izabela Miric, Sales Director, West Coast
Izabela Miric joined Tesla six years ago after years working in the fashion industry.
“I didn’t dream about working for a car company, but I dreamt about working for a company that was going to make a difference,” she said during the session. “I worked in luxury fashion and I really enjoyed what I was doing. I loved working with clients and I loved working with people, but there was a missing piece.”
Miric eventually found herself working on the tech side of fashion, and was working alongside entrepreneurs and tech moguls.
“I really fell in love with the way they looked at business,” she said. “I was always passionate about business strategy and how to truly explode the business on a whole new level. As Tesla approached me and started having conversations with me, I knew at that time that this was the company I wanted to work for no matter what job they offered me. And that was my attitude since the beginning.”
She joined as one of the first external store managers and has since worked her way up in the ranks to a director position.
Lyndsay Skeegan, Global Sales Operations
Like Miric, Lyndsay Skeegan worked in the fashion industry prior to joining Tesla.
“I worked in the fashion industry in New York City for over a decade in roles in merchandise planning and inventory management for luxury retailers, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach and the Museum of Modern Art,” she said. “For the 4 1/2 years before Tesla, I was brought in to a regional startup to build a merchandise planning department from the ground up, and I also launched my own jewelry design business in 2008 while I was working full-time.”
After years of working in fashion, Skeegan became more concerned about the industry’s carbon footprint.
“I would see millions of containers put on ships from China and shipped around the world,” she said. “I started to think about this and be concerned about it, and I also started to think about wanting to contribute to a larger cause in my career. I also started to think about buying a car after 15 years in New York City, and I thought, ‘I only want a Tesla.’ As luck would have it, Tesla reached out to me at this time to recruit me for the global fleet manager role.”
Cara Riverso, Senior Manager of Manufacturing
Cara Riverso has always worked in different engineering roles and was craving a change when a mentor reached out to her about an engineering role at Tesla to help ramp up Model 3 production.
“I jumped at the chance to work somewhere that was really innovative and fast-paced,” she said. “I am a tree hugger, so I always have wanted to work at a career where I’m moving the world toward sustainability. As a manufacturing engineer, I make sure we reliably produce cars that help the world towards that goal.”