The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge takes place every two years in Australia, and tasks teams of secondary and tertiary students with developing solar-powered cars capable of travelling 3000km.
This year's event features 53 entrants from 23 countries, including seven from Australia. But there was one group in particular that wasn't interested in the competition itself.
Tesla recruiters were roaming around the field hunting for talent. The brand has a long history of finding the brightest minds to hone and develop new technologies.
Asked about the presence of recruiters at the event, Tesla refused to comment on record. But several sources at the event, along with a Tesla source, suggested they were there specifically to recruit young engineers.
According to tech website Hackernoon, previous Tesla interns plucked from universities say the company is after candidates that excel in their studies, but also have a diverse experience set.
"A Tesla recruiting member met with all the project teams at Georgia Tech, which included his HyTech racing team, GT motorsports team, and more.
"After he met with the recruiters, he went through the hiring process of two interviews. He shared that the interviews were mostly regarding the student’s behaviour but they also provided some technical challenges," Flora Qu told Hackernoon.
"According to his observation, he rarely saw any intern who didn’t have any work experience. “You really need to push your own experience as much as you can,” he suggested.
While Tesla still appears to be hiring, an internal memo sent to Tesla recruiters in February this year suggested that “all headcount requests from the business must get Elon approval”, according to Business Insider.
The Business Insider story also said the internal memo predated redundancies for around a third to a half of Tesla's recruiting staff.
The 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge was taken out by Belgian team Agoria Solar Team, completing the 3020km challenge at an average speed of 86.6km/h.