Students get disappointing dose of reality, Tesla rescinds summer internship offers

Students poised to jump into summer internships are the latest to suffer under Elon Musk’s cost-cutting efforts at Tesla.

Many who hoped to land jobs eventually at the company took to LinkedIn to lament the news and appeal to other employers to take them on as interns.

“At 8:46am, I opened a Tesla email for flight info. By 11:25am, my internship offer was gone,” Miami University student Joshua Schreiber wrote. He reportedly had already spent “thousands on housing.”

Musk announced last month that Tesla had “made the difficult decision to reduce our headcount by more than 10% globally.”

“Since then, several executives have left the company as Musk has pushed for further cuts. Most of the company’s 500-person Supercharger division and its newly formed marketing team have been axed,” Bloomberg reported.

“People familiar with Musk’s thinking have said the billionaire is determined to cut headcount amid sagging electric vehicle sales and big expenditures for his robotaxi dreams. They say Musk is targeting a 20% reduction,” the outlet added.

The company’s last Impact Report noted that more than 3,000 university and community college students are hired annually by the company.

Three weeks before the start of her internship, Brook Gura, a communications student at the University of Texas at Austin, got the call rescinding the offer.

“While I am incredibly disappointed that I will not have the summer I intended to have, I know that this moment will only help me grow stronger as a professional,” the student said.

“Tesla said in mid-April it would shed 10% of its 140,400-person headcount. Roughly 6,000 of those layoffs are hitting workers in Texas and California,” Fox Business reported.

The planned cut in headcount “will prepare Tesla for our next phase of growth, as we are developing some of the most revolutionary technologies in auto, energy and artificial intelligence,” according to the company.

Students wrote about their disappointments on LinkedIn while hoping to get alternate offers.

“For the past month, I’ve been looking forward to sharing exciting news about my summer internship with an incredible team at #Tesla,” Washington University student Xinrui Lu wrote.

“I had already booked my flight and arranged my housing, anticipating the adventure ahead. However, this afternoon, I received a call informing me that, due to massive #layoffs, my internship offer had been rescinded, just three weeks before it was supposed to start,” the student added.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse,” wrote Joshua Bernal who attends the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr Rochelle Parks-Yancy, a professor of Human Resources and career coach had a message for the disappointed would-be interns.

“My main hope is that the students learn what so many professionals still don’t believe: If you’re not an owner (shareholder), you’re a worker, no matter your job title,” she wrote. “The business does what’s best for the business, not you. That’s not their job. Your job is to always do what’s best for you. That’s your job.”

Frieda Powers

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