IUP student Tyler
Campbell is proof that sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to
some extraordinary things. When he was
presented with the opportunity for a summer internship in California, Campbell
was unsure at first. But after listening to the advice of his professors, he decided
taking the trip west was in his best interest, and that’s how he ended up at Tesla.
Yes, that Tesla.
senior at IUP majoring in Safety Health and Environmental Applied Sciences,
spent the summer of 2016 as an intern for Tesla, the cutting-edge car
manufacturer. Working with Tesla’s safety engineers, Campbell helped Tesla, located
in Freemont, Calif., about 30 minutes from San Francisco, improve its safety
practices for workers in many different departments.
“It was a
wonderful opportunity,” Campbell said. “I’ve heard many stories where students
went into their internship and realized, ‘Wow I do not want to do this the rest
of my life.’ I had that fear in my mind. I was worried. But it was affirmation for
me that this is what I want to do.”
really imagined himself working anywhere near California. He initially had been
accepted into an internship program at Disney World, and he was ready to spend
his summer working there. But then Seth Woody, the Global Environmental Health and Safety Director at Tesla, began searching for universities that offered
online doctoral degrees in Safety Science, and he discovered IUP had such a
In his contact
with the university, Woody mentioned that he was in the position to hire some
good interns, and Jolene Campbell, the Safety Sciences department secretary, passed
the request on to some students.
Campbell said he was unsure if he was even interested in another option. But
thinking he really had nothing to lose, he sent in his application.
After a Skype
interview with Woody, Campbell was offered an internship. He had always dreamed
of working at Disney, but after talking to some of his professors, including
Lon Ferguson, Laura Rhodes, and Jan Wachter, Campbell knew Tesla’s offer was
too good to pass up.
just felt like it was a calling to come to California to open my wings a little
bit,” he said.
his summer working on all kinds of projects. His supervisor, Laura Parzych, a
senior health and safety engineer at Tesla, said she was impressed with
“Tyler was an
absolute pleasure to have on our team,” Parzych said. “He came in every single
day with a positive attitude and was successful in interacting with employees
of all levels — production to management — and being that change agent I
expected from the start. Tyler has a very bright future ahead in his career,
not only with his positive attitude, but his ability to influence others, which
is a crucial skill to being successful in this field.”
Campbell came back
home, to Bellwood in early August, but his stay in Pennsylvania might not be
that long. He said he has been offered the opportunity to go back to Tesla next
year for his final internship, and that could lead to some really interesting
things after he graduates.