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Yari tells us about his internship experience in Tesla

Interview to Yari Lazzaro, 34 years old, carried out an internship in Tesla during the last semester of his Data Science Master’s, now works in Tesla.

Interview to Yari Lazzaro, 34 years old, now works in Tesla.

Interview

1. Would you mind introducing yourself?

Hi, I got a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Padua and, after that, I worked for nine years in the Web development and interactive media field. In 2017, I enrolled in the Data Science Master’s degree at the Department of Mathematics of the University of Padova because I was looking for a career change. The Data Science degree seemed to provide good theoretical foundations both from a theoretical and hands-on practical perspective experience, as well as good employment opportunities.

2. How did you get to work for Tesla? How did this choice come about?

After completing the first year of the Master’s degree, I started looking for academic internships and, in September 2018, I sent my application to Tesla, in Amsterdam, through their Website. I was excited by the cutting-edge profile of this the company, and the unique learning opportunity. At that time, Tesla had various open positions which could benefit from a candidate with a data science background, data scientist and business analyst being amongst some of them. I joined Tesla’s Charging Data Modeling Team in June 2019, as an intern data scientist.

3. What's like working for Tesla?

The challenges of working for a company such as Tesla, aside the complexity of the problems they are trying to solve, is following the structured approach of an international company which moves at the pace of a startup. Everybody is given responsibilities early on and needs to adapt to an ever-changing environment and to new tasks. For this reason, during my experience I have tackled different projects leveraging skills from the data science, statistics and computer science domain.

4. How much the Data Science Master’s degree has contributed to getting where you are now?

Attending the Data Science degree @UNIPD has contributed enormously to my current professional path, in terms of personal knowledge, industry contacts and overall professional development. From an academic perspective, the Master’s degree gave me solid theoretical foundations in fields ranging from statistics, maths and computer science, and offered plenty of opportunities to apply them to real world problems, through practical projects. Sharing university projects on my public Github page gave me exposure to recruiters and gave me some topics to discuss during interviews, which helped a lot during the selection process. Additionally, the company policy in Netherlands gives internship opportunities only to students, so I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to join Tesla without this Master’s degree. Overall, attending the Data Science Master’s degree significantly increased my opportunities.

5. What is your dream or business goal?

Opportunities might arise to join Tesla as a full time employee which would be the ideal continuation of this internship experience. Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition towards sustainable energy and, as a future data scientist, I am keen to leverage my expertise to contribute to a better and more sustainable future.