Xos Trucks

Summer Highlight: Four Xos Interns Making an Impact in the EV Industry

Summertime brings warmer weather, traveling, and barbecues. But at Xos, what we look forward to most during the summer is our intern program. This summer, we hired interns from around the world to learn about the ins and outs of the EV industry and to be a part of what we do best: decarbonize transportation. Brady Wedbush, Dagmawi Baykeda, Esteban Rincon, and Ujwal Chopra are four interns who made a tremendous impact at Xos this summer.


Brady Wedbush

Manhattan Beach, CA

Princeton University

Major: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Minor: Computer Science and Robotics

Class of 2023

Battery Production / Manufacturing Engineering team Intern

Brady Wedbush

What do you like most about working in the EV industry? 

What I like most about working in the EV industry is that it’s such a lucrative business these days, and there have been a lot of new innovations in electric vehicles, especially battery technology. It’s exciting to be on the forefront of that!


3 key takeaways from your time here at Xos

My first takeaway is my experience working on the battery manufacturing team, I learned a lot about designing and making sure my design is able to be built, tested, and used properly. My second takeaway is learning what it’s like to work at a relatively small company. Working at Xos taught me how to go the extra mile to complete projects, even if it’s a project that is part of another team. Everyone is here to help, no matter the task, and it allowed me to learn more about other parts of the company. My third takeaway is overall learning more about the EV industry. This is my first time working with EVs and I’ve been learning not only what’s going on in the industry, but also what our country’s progress is towards an electrified transportation system.

 

Who is your dream mentor?

My dream mentor is Dag Reckhorn, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing at Xos. Through my time here at Xos, I’ve had the chance to learn about Dag’s career path. He has extensive experience with not only EV’s, but vehicles in general. It would be great to be able to work more alongside him and gain more knowledge in the manufacturing sector, and automobiles in general. 


One thing you did this summer outside of work / something you like to do outside of work 

Being from Southern California, I’ve been spending a lot of time at the beach and hanging out with friends. I’ve played in a few beach volleyball tournaments throughout the summer, and it’s been fun to do that with friends and to play against some good competition. Overall, I’ve had a great summer, and really enjoyed my time here at Xos being able to work full-time. 


Dagmawi Baykeda

Born in Ethiopia but a current resident of Los Angeles 

California State University, Long Beach

Major: Computer Engineering 

Class of 2019

Software and Vehicle Testing / Embedded Software Engineering Intern

Dagmawi Baykeda

What do you like most about working in the EV industry?

What I like most is the fact that I get to wear a lot of hats, and work on cutting-edge technology and projects because it’s still a fairly nascent industry. The environmental aspect of the job is also a huge part of what I love–I’ve become part of the solution in helping make a cleaner environment.

3 key takeaways from your time here at Xos

My first takeaway is to always be open to new challenges, and that’s by far the most important one. My time here has taught me to be open and willing to take on new challenges, because there are a lot of them, and the more you take on, the more you’ll learn. My second takeaway is to always be willing to learn, whether it involves your position or not, always be open to expanding your territory and your knowledge. My third takeaway is to ask for help and guidance when you need it. There are always going to be things you don’t know, and there are so many experienced people here at Xos who are willing to help you grow. Overall, it’s so important to always have a positive attitude. Things are not always going to pan out how you want or expect them to, but having a positive attitude helps you evolve and work through that.

Who is your dream mentor?

I work very closely with Abdolreza Fallahi, Senior Software Architect here at Xos, and I love working with him because of his approach and directiveness. I’ve learned many things from him during my time here at Xos, but the most important thing I learned is how you approach a challenge. The language you use when communicating in a team environment is critical and helps you get to the bottom of the issue in a much more efficient way.

One thing you did this summer outside of work / something you like to do outside of work 

I went camping in the Sequoia National Forest back in July with my wife and a few friends. While we were there, we were able to see the harsh effects of wildfires. It used to be very green but now it’s much more dry and brown. It was sad to see that but also nice to travel somewhere new and camp with loved ones!

 

Esteban Rincon 

Miami, Florida

Stanford University

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Minor: Computer Science

Class of 2024

Battery Engineering Intern

Esteban Rincon

What do you like most about working in the EV industry? 

I’ve always had a desire to engineer a more sustainable world; to use technology to help fight climate change. I grew up in Miami where the effects of climate change are evidently apparent. There is often severe weather, flooding, and hurricanes. I know when I come into work each day I am helping to combat that. Climate change adversely affects lower income communities, so at the end of the day, you are not only helping the people around you, but the entire world. 

 

3 key takeaways from your time here at Xos

My first takeaway is learning how much the people around you have an effect on your work. I’ve had an amazing internship experience, and a lot of that was because of the battery design team. It was a great feeling to know that my team trusted me–it impacted my desire to come into work, work with my team, and improve. My second takeaway is to be open to doing anything and everything. I had an idea of what I wanted this internship experience to be like, but early on I decided to let go of that and went with the flow. I was pushed to be independent and learn on my own, and within that I found myself always taking on cool projects like working with our 3D printers! It’s pivotal to understand the importance of each project, whether big or small. 

My third takeaway is realizing that there’s a benefit in working at a relatively smaller company. I always thought I wanted to work somewhere like Apple or Tesla, but I realized after my time here at Xos how well our team was run. The comradery, leadership, and management style is something I’ll never forget. 

 

Who is your dream mentor?

If you asked me this question before my time at Xos, my answer would have been Elon Musk. I admired him because although his way of thinking is a bit out there, he doesn’t care what people think, is smart, and is willing to do what he needs to do to make the impossible possible. However, after my time here at Xos, the best mentor I’ve had is Jason Swierk, Project Engineer. 

Jason has some incredible ideas, was always taking time out of his day to help me learn, and never got upset if I interrupted him to ask a question. Jason made me realize the deeper implication of the tasks I was assigned, and it made me appreciate my work. 

 

One thing you did this summer outside of work / something you like to do outside of work 

I love the outdoors, and love to travel. Earlier this summer, I went on a road trip to Big Sur, and I recently went on a scuba diving trip with friends and it was a crazy experience! I even saw a shark. This week, I’m leaving for Australia and am excited to see penguins and kangaroos, and do a 3 day dive tour at the great barrier reef. We’ll be sleeping on a boat and can go diving at our own discretion. Scuba diving is the most peaceful thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never felt more zen than when I’m at the bottom of the ocean. You become so in tune with yourself and nature–once you get used to it, you can control going up and down with your breathing. After Australia, I’ll be going to Spain for two weeks with my sister. I’m Colombian so I’m super excited to practice my Spanish there. 

 

Ujwal Chopra

Punjab, India 

University of Southern California 

Electrical Engineering Graduate Program / Electric Power Systems 

Class of 2023

Vehicle Validation and Testing Intern

Ujwal Chopra

What do you like most about working in the EV industry? 

Since I was a child, I have had a huge passion for vehicles. My family has a background in the electric industry so it was fitting for Xos to be my first step into the EV industry. I’m very glad to be here, and never want to leave. I know I’ll be working on cars for the rest of my life.

 

3 key takeaways from your time here at Xos

My first takeaway is my experience and everything I learned while at Xos. Being from an electric background, I got to learn about manufacturing, how the controls work, and how the mechanics work. I enjoyed being able to learn from all teams, not just one department. My second takeaway is learning how challenging but rewarding the EV industry can be. Before starting here, I thought it was going to be a walk in the park. Once I stepped into it, I realized how big of a production it is. However, after my time here, I’m much more comfortable and have gained so much knowledge of the industry. My final takeaway is how much I’ve learned from the people I’ve worked with. I can honestly say that I’ve had the privilege of learning from each and every person I’ve crossed paths with at Xos, and I’m forever grateful for that. 

 

Who is your dream mentor?

My dream, and current mentor is Shrishanth Shetty, one of Xos’ vehicle validation engineers. Throughout my time here at Xos, he has provided guidance and support in every aspect of the word. He always goes the extra mile to make sure I understand how everything works and patiently helps me solve any hiccups I may have in my work. Overall, I would really like to thank my entire team for all of their support in my time here at Xos. 

 

One thing you did this summer outside of work / something you like to do outside of work 

Professional go-karting! I just started this summer, around early July, and I’ve been going back every single week. My first time, I got third position, and since then I’ve been trying to reduce my lap time. Cherry on top–the go karts are electric! I even have a membership.

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