Young Saudi from Riyadh Working at Tesla in California

Bander Saleh if Riyadh, who’s working at one of the world’s most well known companies - Tesla in California

Tesla is widely considered as one of the best companies to work because of its innovation and approach to sustainable energy in areas of transportation and solar power. It’s headquarters are in Palo Alto, and it’s here that a young man from Saudi Arabia, Bander Salah goes to work every day.  After graduating from in 2017, Bander decided to apply for a job at Tesla which was only 30 miles away from his campus in California. Speaking to Arabia Now Bander said, “As a Saudi Millennial I am working in the world’s most automated manufacturing systems. I am seeing firsthand the importance of partnering with technology driven companies.”

Technology, renewable energy and investment in start up businesses are key pillars of Saudi Vision 2030 which Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been emphasizing during his US visit. It’s something Bander Salah of Riyadh can experience first hand, telling Arabia Now, “While my long term ambition continues to be to pursue a career in film, my experience so far has been that it is not easy to find reliable entry level opportunities in my chosen field. However, I managed to secure my current entry level graduate position on the shop floor of Tesla’s new start up plant in Fremont, California.  This provides the financial stability for me to continue to pursue my longer term career interests for which I am grateful.  The lessons I am learning in this “school of hard knocks” are just as important as any college class in providing valuable real life and work place experiences which are surly a very important part of any young person’s development.  Like me, this Tesla plant is at the early stages of its development.  I guess we could say we are both kind of early stage “start-ups” driven by strong long term visions. “

It’s this kind of approach by young Saudis that Crown Prince Mohammed is encouraging through Saudi Vision 2030, which is also emphasizing the Kingdom’s transition from an oil based economy. Solar power and renewable energy are important aspects for Saudi Arabia in the long term, and Tesla is a company which is leading the way in these fields with integrated energy solutions.

During his interview with Arabia Now from California, Bander said, “I’m very proud to have the opportunity to work at Tesla, and there is a lot in common, with 2030. Vision 2030 is a big, bold vision. It’s the same sort of thinking, really. The courage to try something new, and to do the right thing – on a huge scale. We’ve only have one world, and everyone has always just thought about how to make money the conventional way, with no regard for the environment. Today, Tesla is demonstrating that with better thinking, and courage, we can make more money doing the right thing.  Vision 2030 makes being Saudi feel like working for Tesla – that great feeling of being part of something that is changing everything and building a better future for everybody.”

Tesla is working on numerous solar based solutions and products to power homes and cars with clean energy day and night. During his interaction with some of his fellow employees at Tesla Bander said, “People are often surprised that I’m from Saudi. There is certainly a stereotypical idea of what people expect Saudis to be like, and I think it’s up to all of us to be ambassadors, but not just in the conventional sense. We need to be ambassadors for diversity, too. Let people know that we’re a country made up of individuals, just like America – and that the stereotypes they are, perhaps, familiar with do not represent most of our population.”

Bander is also a big snow boarding enthusiast which comes as a big surprise given he’s from a country where sand dunes are more prevalent than snow dunes. He’s happy that, “Tesla’s creative approach to innovation and problem solving might provide a good guide for the Kingdom as it implements the new Vision 2030 program” And he’s grateful to two well known people: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Telsa founder Elon Musk. In his final remarks to Arabia Now, the eloquent Bander Salah said, “I am grateful to Mr. Musk for putting equal opportunity recruitment structures in place that allowed me to secure my current position. But, I think it’s incredible to see Prince Mohammed Bin Salman having the courage to ask why we do things in certain ways – and when there is no logical answer, to change them. On behalf of millions of young people like me, thank you for understanding that entertainment and exposure to new things helps to form us into balanced people. Thank you for trusting us to grow – we’ll be better equipped to build a stronger, more diverse nation, together.”