Updated: Dec 11, 2018
By Pablo Morán Collantes
Only two days in Rotterdam, not knowing my new classmates by the time and I receive great news: Tesla is offering me an internship! I was sure at this moment that it was going to be the greatest challenge of my life so far, working full-time in a top-notch company and studying at RSM at the same time, in two different cities…
So, first of all: Why Tesla?
Since my youth, I have always been an advocate for renewable energies. From my early beginnings participating in anti-oil extraction demonstrations in the Canary Islands, I have realized that political actions are struggling in many occasions to tackle the future environmental threats that will affect all of us in a not-so-far-future. Because of this, I believe Tesla was the best company to start building this path towards changing the world - as they say around here: “accelerating the transition to sustainable energy”.
You will definitely know Tesla for its electric vehicles, but did you know about our Energy Products department? Have you heard about Powerwall, Powerpack, or Solar Roof before? We are the team focused on bringing the innovative energy generation and storage solutions to the masses!
Within the Energy Products department, my current role is to support the Business Development team with long-term projects: these include go-to-market strategy formulation for new products as well as new strategic approaches for already existing products. Given the enormous influence of many actors, the energy industry landscape changes so much and so rapidly that strategic planning is absolutely essential.
Therefore, working in the European headquarters is clearly the best way into this fast-paced industry. The approach is completely hands-on: from day one, I have been given complete responsibility for my project, coordinating my efforts with the different teams worldwide. Thanks to this, I have found not only amazingly smart people, but also people that are really willing to help you reach your goals. Teams are constantly expanding and they givea very interesting contrast to the company as a whole: while working for multinational enterprise, the environment feels much more like the one you would find in a start-up, with a continuous flow of ideas and a young spirit all around.
In fact, the last Friday, 23rd November I had the pleasure of having our CEMSies Nina Bekele and Arjun Malhotra during the Tesla Student Experience. I was extremely grateful to have a little piece of CEMS in the event (especially among so many aerospace engineers!), seeing them completely out of their comfort zone with the energy-oriented business case and showing how collaboration is the key to a sustainable future. Actually, this leads me to the second key question…
Using a “businessy” concept to describe it, I can compare my Bachelor in Engineering Management with a very bottom-up approach: we approached concepts very technically, without a holistic view of the whole system.However, after my first internships, I realized that no disruption comes to the world only from the technological side; it always needs a strong business concept to back it up. In the end, my objective shifted to pursuing a more business-oriented role in a technology oriented company, in which I could accomplish my sustainable career goals.
So, I chose to study a Master’s with a more top-down approach, and international management stood out among all other choices. Without any formal business-related study before, I was a bit unsure in the beginning but the international model of CEMS was a decisive factor in my choice. After one and a half years, it has indeed proven to be the best decision I could have ever made: not only have I developed a new skill set, I am also now a member of an extremely international family that is giving me friends in every corner of Europe!
What were the greatest challenges in this time?
#3: Working and studying in two different cities is tough, especially if commuting takes 3-4 hours a day and NS trains have no Wifi!
#2: RSM itself is a demanding university and having to attend all lectures makes the weekly planning quite challenging. Here I must give thanks to all the CEMSies that have helped me so much through our class projects, as well as to Gina and my manager Mark for their full support.
#1: Not being able to see my favourite group of CEMSies every single day!
How would I summarize the entire experience?
The way that CEMS has changed my approach to life combined with the intense work-and-study experience in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, I finish my contribution to the blog with a quote for all my CEMSies:
“Success is not about being the best. Making a living out of your passion is the real success.”