One of Tesla Motor’s newest interns is one of our very own Gorillas, John Neri. The PSU student has made his journey to the Bay Area in order to take part in the internship.
John Neri is a third year student at Pittsburg State University majoring in manufacturing engineering technology. From January to May, Neri will be interning at Tesla Motors in California.
“I would say the team members here, everyone makes you feel like you’re at home, like you’re a key player,” Neri said. “They told me on my first day, you’re not an intern, you’re not going to be treated like an intern, you’re going to be treated like a full-time employee, and I definitely like that.”
This is not Neri’s first internship; he also spent 8 months interning at Emerson. He said that internship experience gave him an advantage when applying for the Tesla Motors opportunity.
“At that internship, I was able to get the experience that fit the exact need that Tesla was looking for, for their intern,” Neri said.
Neri gives credit to those who helped him get to Tesla Motors, such as Doctor Russell Rosmait at Pittsburg State University, who serves as his advisor.
“Definitely I’d have to say my advisor was a big key point here, his name is Russ, or Doctor Rosmait,” Neri said. “He has lots of industry connections so as a second-year student…he was actually able to set up an interview with this other company, and that’s where I did my first internship, which was Emerson.”
Russel Rosmait has taught in the Department of Engineering Technology for the past 31 years at Pitt State. Along with being John’s advisor, he has taught several of John’s classes.
“John is a person with drive to expand his knowledge and experiences while in college,” said Rosmait. “His interest in tasks he undertakes is very positive.”
Rosmait assisted John by forwarding his resume to a PSU Manufacturing Engineering Technology Alumni who works at Tesla. This connection helped result in John’s five-month internship with Tesla Motors, where he is part of the tool and dye team for casting.
“(John) will have a great career with a great company that is committed to improving society as well as giving him the opportunity to develop himself as an engineer and contribute to the growth as a professional,” said Rosmait.
Although Tesla only produced 76,230 cars in 2016, the brand has surpassed other companies such as Hyundai, Nissan, and Ford in market value.
“I feel like they are on the front end,” said Neri. “They have the top manufacturing and equipment, they’re on the top edge of that. Everything is just so up to date, they’re such a prestigious company and having that on your resume, who wouldn’t want that, right?”
Neri also gives credit to those who have helped him get where he is today, such as his high school advisor, Dan Aistrup.
“My high school advisor, Dan Aistrup, he’s the one who got me into the manufacturing industry and got me exposed to all that,” Neri said. “So, without his guidance, I wouldn’t have been able to take the path that I am on now. Justin Weil, he’s the one who got me to come to Pitt. I actually got my associates degree in welding technology at my community college, and he’s the one who showed me the engineering program. He helped me take this step here.”
Justin Weil was one of Neri’s welding instructors at Dodge City Community College, where Neri earned his associate degree in welding technology.
“John has a great personality, a great sense of humor and is as responsible and respectful of a kid as I have ever taught,” Weil said. “John is very driven to be as good as he possibly can, always pushing to be better. You will not find a harder working, respectful, driven young man. He takes nothing for granted and goes after his goals. John is the type of student every professor wants in their classes.”
Last semester, Neri was the Chairman of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and a member of the American Foundry Society. He is currently taking a semester off of school to take part in the internship.
“To be honest, I see no limits for John,” Weil said. “He has proven if he sets his mind up to do something you can bet he will get it done. Hopefully when he is rich he won’t forget about his “favorite” welding instructor. I wish him all the best in his career pathway.”
Neri has spent time traveling around the San Francisco and Silicon Valley when he’s not at his 40 hour per week internship, and he is looking forward to spending more time in the Bay Area.
“Not just the state of art technology, it would also be the responsibilities it’s giving me,” Neri said. “It’s helping me grow not just as an engineer, but as a person; being able to take ownership and become more of a leader, a self-starter.”