About the podcast guest
Fuad Ali is a venture fellow for Susa Ventures where he works on sourcing, diligence, and post-investment support as part of the Susa Fellowship program. He just started as a software engineer at Twitter. In the past, he has worked in flight software at SpaceX and has interned at Tesla and Wealthsimple. Apart from working at awesome companies, he is the host of The Next Iteration Podcast, and just graduated from McMaster University where he studied electrical and biomedical engineering.
In this episode, we talk about his journey so far in the workforce, how he got the internship positions he had, and what makes a good leader.
Some Questions We Ask
- You've done tons of internships with these really legit companies, now SpaceX which is huge, can you talk to us about your process doing this in high school and university? What challenges did you face?
- Were you someone that had a concrete plan in high school and or university? Did that plan change? How did you decide to go down the career path you went down?
- Your podcast, The Next Iteration, has 6,000 listeners now and I was really honoured to be on it a few months back and it definitely inspired me. What drove you to start your own podcast, what are your intentions with it?
- Having the ability to manage people and delegate work well is a very important skill at any company. In your opinion from being managed what makes a good manager and leader?
- On a LinkedIn post you said side projects have been really crucial for you, especially long-term projects, so can you talk to us about the importance of long term projects and any that you've done that you feel you've learned a ton from?
One thing I have come to learn after having worked at several big companies is that company name means nothing at all. It’s really the team you work on because these companies are so big—I mean some are smaller than others like Twitter is pretty small it's only 4,000-5,000 people versus Facebook(now Meta) is 70,000—but there are definitely huge differences between individual teams. Even if they are both in the engineering department because of things like who you work with the culture on the team and other factors. So, I think the most important thing to evaluate is how did I like being a part of this team because even virtually a long chunk of your day is spent interacting with your team. So, you need to like the team and the people you are working with and if you don’t it will just be a bad experience no matter how good the work is, no matter how much you are getting paid, no matter how much you value the mission.
Set up a regular schedule to check in with yourself and reflect.
Put yourself out there in a random scenario to get yourself out of your comfort zone.
Get a full night's sleep.