Co-op at Tesla in Data Science is the Silver Lining
Ananya Naresh, ME’21, data analytics engineering, was drawn to Northeastern’s College of Engineering for both the co-op program and its strong, interdisciplinary academic reputation. “Northeastern came like a natural choice because of the co-op opportunities… And they also have pretty good, well-known professors for computer science, which I can take too because COE allows me to take electives from other departments, which I think is great,” she said.
For her undergraduate degree, Naresh studied computer science at the Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering near Chennai, India. For her master’s, she has transitioned to data analytics engineering.
After completing several computer science internships back home, Naresh wanted to continue working in the field in between class semesters. Although acclimating to the new environment in Boston was difficult for her, Naresh said that she has adjusted well and settled into a routine. As disruptive as the pandemic was to her new lifestyle, a job offer from Tesla as a data science intern is her silver lining.
For the last three months, she has been working for the electric car manufacturer remotely. “It’s been good. At first, I was really nervous because I just started out and this is the first big company I’ve worked for… The internships I had back at home, they were all for startups where they gave me a lot of work from doing marketing to computer science work to software development… At Tesla, I thought it would be different because it is a big company, right? But no, they are almost like a startup,” Naresh said.
So far, Naresh has nothing but positives to cite about her experience at Tesla. “Any person who comes in to work at Tesla will have a lot of work. And I always have a chance to clearly communicate with my team on what I think about it, and they don’t treat me as ‘just an intern.’ It’s really great, because people hear my opinion, and people want to know what I have to say,” Naresh said.
Naresh particularly enjoys assisting the crash testing team who focuses on making vehicles as safe as possible in accidents. “We see when the airbags are deployed and if they’re deployed properly or not…We also see how severe the crashes are and what needs to be repaired and how the person is injured,” she said.
The master’s student is keeping an open mind about future opportunities. “I mean if Teslas like, ‘Here’s a full-time job,’ obviously I’ll take it,” Naresh said candidly. “But I don’t know what’s going to happen. And yeah, I will be open to new places as well. But obviously, Tesla will be my first priority.”
She’s grateful to her professors and advisors that she has been given this opportunity. “If not for Northeastern, I’m not sure if I would have had the chance, because a lot of colleges do not offer the co-op opportunity,” Naresh said. “At all the companies that I interviewed for, all the basics that they asked me were whatever that was taught in class. And I think that helped me a lot.”