Before Elon Musk became the billionaire tech mogul that he is today, he started off with a ‘normal’ internship in a bank. While the average person would do regular stuff that he is asked to while interning, Musk was different. During his internship at the Bank of Nova Scotia in the early 1990s, Musk wrote a multi-billion bond trade proposal which he expected to be the ‘biggest opportunity ever.’ Musk was so confident about the idea and he would at least get $1/hour raise in his stipend of $14/ hour but in this case, his luck was like any other intern and he did not. His immediate boss Peter Musk gave a thumbs up to the idea but to Musk’s dismay, the proposal was rejected by the bank’s CEO. However, looking at the track record of Musk’s idea, we are sure it was only the banks’ loss. Musk shared this story in reply to a tweet, along with an article by Yahoo Finance tracking his journey through the lenses of his initial internship experiences.
The article quoted the Tesla CEO saying that how later in life when he competed with these banks, he remembered this article and realized that all banks do is copy and never do something new. He says, “If there was a giant pile of gold sitting in the middle of the room and nobody was picking it up, they wouldn’t pick it up either."
From his experience of working in banks, Musk’s major ‘takeaways’ was that ‘bankers’ are ‘dumb and rich’ which he says he kept in mind when he first launched his finance startup X.com. The site later merged with Confinity in 2000 and became PayPal.
I worked for Peter Nicholson, who is awesome. Mostly, we exchanged math riddles, although I did figure out a multi-billion dollar arbitrage opportunity for the bank. Figured they’d at least give me $1/hour raise, but no … https://t.co/rdjDtPtPHz— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2021
After his stint with PayPal, Musk went to found companies like Tesla and Space X. While Tesla is leading the revolution of electric cars in the world, SpaceX has been working with new possibilities in space research.