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Tell us how did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and interesting career?

“I had a natural inclination towards problem solving. That, coupled with an interest in sciences made it easy to pick a career path.”

Aditya Raghunathan knew from a young age that he would thrive as an engineer. After attending SRM University (B.Tech., Mechanical Engineering) in his hometown of Chennai, India, Aditya worked as a manufacturing engineer for John Deere India. To further his education, Aditya enrolled as a Global Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering (GAME) student with Integrative Systems + Design (ISD) at University of Michigan in 2014.

As a master’s student, Aditya took special interest in his role as a graduate student instructor. He also participated in the Michigan Graduate Consulting Club and Society of Automotive Engineers.

What are you doing now?

Now living in San Jose California, Aditya is an engineer for Tesla. As a master student, Aditya completed a summer internship with the company. “Today, I am the new product introduction Project Manager for Tesla Model X and Model S body structures,” says Aditya. “The job requires technical leadership to oversee design, manufacturing and their integration activities to roll out new products in a quick, timely and effective manner.”

However, the role does not come without surprises. “The environment at Tesla supports risk takers. Those who take risks are appreciated here and defeat is truly treated as a lesson learnt.”

How was your experience at University of Michigan?

Aditya is thankful for his experience as an ISD student, and remembers the time fondly.  He appreciated the beauty of the city of Ann Arbor, and the relationships he built with students and faculty. When speaking to prospective students, Aditya emphasizes the importance of an ISD Master of Engineering degree. “The intangible benefits are considerable and a master’s degree is for life. In technical fields, the degree is very well valued and sets you on an accelerated career path.”

The only thing he would change about his experience at ISD?

Time.  “The more time one can spend, the better the experience.”