Meredith Westafer

Meredith Westafer

Senior Industrial Engineer


Tesla

Sparks, NV USA


You have to take a lot of steps in different directions before you figure out where you want to go and what the right fit is for you. If you don’t see what the end goal is, maybe it’s because it’s in a direction you’re not looking yet.

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Meredith Westafer

Highlight
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01:17
Meredith Westafer HighlightInterview Highlight
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04:34
InterviewThe Interview
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02:42
Being A Woman In The Engineering FieldWeb Exclusive
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01:10
What It Means To Manage A TeamWeb Exclusive
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00:58
The Key To Problem-SolvingWeb Exclusive
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02:54
My Career PathInterview Excerpt
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01:40
Why I Chose Industrial EngineeringInterview Excerpt

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
I loved horseback riding as a child and hoped I could do it for a living when I got older, but I eventually realized that I wouldn’t be able to make a substantial living doing that.
I knew when I was in high school that I wanted to go into engineering because I really enjoyed my math classes, but I thought that I would pursue electrical engineering.
After taking my first circuits class in college, I realized electrical engineering wasn’t for me—I changed my major to industrial engineering after gaining more insight about it from a professor.
I started my career as an industrial engineering intern at a grocery store—I was involved with the time study aspect of production while evaluating the packaging process of various foods.
I wanted to work somewhere that was energy-conscious and “green,” so I moved on to work in production planning for LED manufacturing when LED light bulbs were a new technology.
From there, I moved to fiberglass mat manufacturing, which gave me further experience working with people and machinery—I also gained supply chain experience while I was there.
Now I’m a senior industrial engineer for Tesla, helping to design the world’s best factories—my path wasn’t exactly linear, but I use every side of manufacturing and production that I’ve learned.
In addition to my passion for the field, engineering has given me the financial stability to be able to afford to keep riding horses in my free time!
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Industrial and Management Systems Engineering
University of South Florida
Graduate
Engineering Management
University of South Florida

Career

Senior Industrial Engineer

I handle the design of the factory overall, including layout and expansion.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Engineering
Technology
Accomplishing Goals

Day to Day

I take care of the overall design, layout, and expansion of the factory. That involves working with manufacturing engineers who manage the design of production lines to figure out the most optimal way to layout those lines for production. As a senior industrial engineer, I'm in more of a management role. A lot of my time is devoted to leading my team by breaking down barriers and empowering them to do their jobs successfully. I also spend some time working with spreadsheets and writing code.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Communication skills are important in my role because I'm leading a team. I need to be able to listen and understand their barriers and blockers and then figure out ways to break those down and communicate more efficient solutions.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Intern at a lot of different places. It's really important to try to figure out what parts of a job or field you like and what parts you don't like. You can only really do that by trying it and gaining that hands-on experience.

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Friends:

"Why did you move away from home to go work in a trailer in the middle of the desert? That's crazy!"

Challenges I Overcame

Gender Discrimination

Interviewed By

All In

All In

Nevada Roadtrip