From the Marine Corps to Success at Tesla Motors, Inc.
Tesla Motors is a California-based company known for producing premium electric vehicles and batteries. Company headquarters are in Palo Alto, California. Vehicle-manufacturing facilities are in Fremont, California, and the company produces batteries in Sparks, Nevada. Tesla operates globally, with roughly 10,000 employees in locations throughout the United States, Canada, Western Europe, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia.
Tesla has a dedicated U.S. Veterans Recruiting team. Career opportunities at Tesla include production associates, production supervisors, equipment maintenance technicians, and equipment maintenance supervisors within the manufacturing department.
Veterans are strong performers at Tesla because they bring discipline, dedication, and a mission-oriented attitude to their work. The work environment at Tesla is fast-paced and engaging; employees participate hands-on as part of a larger community supporting the company’s single mission.
A VETERAN SUCCESS | STEVEN SUBLETTE
Steven Sublette separated from the United States Marine Corps after nearly 10 years of service. His main responsibilities were aviation electronics I-Level repair, COMSEC, martial arts black belt instructor, and security manager.
Sublette joined Tesla Motors in the paint department in November 2014. He proved himself a valuable player as he pushed through high-intensity periods and temporarily switched assignments within the factory to help achieve targets. He earned a promotion after just four months on the job. Now he is a lead equipment maintenance technician on the plastic injection molding and assembly team. He maintains and repairs robots.
“Throughout my time in the Marines, I was given the opportunity to learn electronic repair and troubleshooting, as well as leadership skills,” he said. “These skills were noticed by Tesla, and they reached out to me for a technical role within the company.”
He encourages servicemembers learn as much as they can in the military. “Take full advantage of all training offered,” Sublette said. “Courses like cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid may seem like they wouldn’t be needed in the civilian sector, but everything you have learned can be added to.”
The skills that Sublette developed in the Marines not only helped him get the job at Tesla, but also helped him get promoted. “Electrical theory and troubleshooting skills have helped with electrical problems, but also hydraulic and digital logic issues,” he said. “This has enabled me to be competitive with other technicians here at Tesla and advance quickly.”
And he learned about more than electrical issues while serving his country. “The work ethic associated with the military is definitely appreciated by the civilian sector,” he said. “The simple things like showing up on time and following instructions correctly really impress people with a sense of professionalism and desire to succeed.”
Sublette believes veterans fit in well at his company. “Tesla has a veteran task force, a group of like-minded veterans that meet up regularly and brainstorm events, fundraisers, gear, and support for our fellow veterans and team members,” he said. “The support system here at Tesla feels unique, because it isn’t a clique that you have to be invited into. Anyone can join the task force and work alongside the VP of manufacturing or the VP of Human Resources to make Tesla a better place to work. We have already done 5k races, a shooting range trip, and recently planned and executed a Wounded Warrior fundraiser.”
He encourages veterans to take the right job, not necessarily the first job offered. “Know what you are worth, don’t take the first job that is offered to you and become complacent.” he said. “Send inquiry letters to large organizations explaining your skill set and desire for employment at their company. It takes 15 minutes to write a letter that can easily translate into an opportunity to achieve the career of your dreams. Be diligent, and don’t let the first ‘no’ be the end of your search.”
As for working at Tesla, Sublette said to talk to a fellow veteran. “Call our Veterans Recruiting Team,” he said. “The team consists of veterans working for veterans; they will evaluate your skill set and give you several starting points here in Tesla. Once you are in, the sky is the limit. Attending additional training and advancement through the company is encouraged, so although you might start as an associate, you can easily move into other departments like maintenance and engineering as the education and skill set is achieved.”