BY Carson Choate, The Western JournalJune 17, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 17, 2023
1 year ago

Elon Musk Makes Bold New Hire That's Drawing Major Attention

Elon Musk's SpaceX has made an interesting new hire: a 14-year-old Bangladeshi-American boy who has just become the youngest person to graduate from Santa Clara University.

Kairan Quazi announced his new job last week, writing in a LinkedIn post that he would soon be joining "the coolest company on the planet."

“A huge thank you to my team at SpaceX for the most transparent, technically challenging, and fun interview process,” Quazi wrote in a Thursday LinkedIn post, according to Fortune. “I am packing my rain boots and ready for July!”

He will be joining SpaceX's Starlink team in Washington state next month as a software engineer.

Quazi was set to graduate Saturday from SCU with a bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering.

That makes him the youngest student to ever graduate from the school and one of few in the U.S. to graduate from college at only 14.

Prior to his transfer to SCU, Quazi attended Las Positas Community College, according to the Mercury News. At the age of 10, he was granted an internship at Intel Labs as an AI research co-op fellow.

Quazi said in an interview with Mercury News that, before applying at SpaceX, he was rejected by 95 companies and only had three offers for full-time positions.

He thanked SpaceX for not being like the rest in rejecting him for his young age, which he told Fortune, is "an arbitrary and outdated proxy for maturity and ability."

Meanwhile, LinkedIn has deleted his account from the platform because Quazi doesn't meet its minimum age requirement.

"We're excited by your enthusiasm, energy and focus. We can't wait to see what you do in the world," LinkedIn said in a message that was shared by Quazi on Instagram.

"Because you currently do not meet the age eligibility criteria to join, we have restricted your account. You are welcome back on the platform once you turn 16 or older," the message read.

Discussing his life and what he hopes to achieve at SpaceX, Quazi told People Magazine that his "personal journey has really been about disrupting the status quo."

Noting the many possibilities that Starlink – an internet satellite constellation – has to offer to humanity, Quazi said he really wants to work toward something that can provide "the greatest good for the greatest number."

His mother, Julia, told the outlet that they discovered Quazi's extremely high intelligence when he took an IQ test at 9 years old.

"He's an extreme extrovert. His verbal fluency was so strong. So a lot of the things that seemed strange to us for years, we just chalked it up to very strong vocabulary and a strong personality," she told People.

Struggling to keep up with him, even as a child, Quazi's parents actually felt as though they were failing him.

"We actually felt every day that we were failing as parents because we did not know how to help him. We just didn't have the toolkit to help him feel validated and balanced because we had no idea what we were dealing with," Julia said.

But while some on social media may disagree with their decision to send him to college at such a young age, Quazi told the Los Angeles Times that higher education allowed him to learn "at the level that I was meant to learn."

He hopes that telling his story will cause "leaders in influential positions [to] challenge their biases and misconceptions," he told the Times. "Hopefully, I can open the door to more people like me."

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Carson Choate, The Western Journal



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