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InsideIL: Connecting MBAs to the Start-Up Nation

This week, HBS MBAs Sara Greenberg and Della Heiman are launching InsideIL – an online platform designed to connect MBA students with leading Israeli companies, and to facilitate summer internships. The program represents an exciting opportunity for students to immerse themselves in dynamic companies, to experience a new culture, and to forge global relationships with leading entrepreneurs and executives. Greenberg and Heiman’s goal is to send 15 students to Israel for summer internships this year, and they’re kicking off the program with a pilot here at HBS.

But why Israel?

“A country of only 8 million people, Israel is the world’s third-largest source of listings on New York’s NASDAQ, after North American and China,” Greenberg and Heiman explain. “Why is it, that such a tiny country has been able to produce such an extraordinary amount of start-ups and innovation? Different people have different theories and we believe that entrepreneurially-minded HBSers will benefit from time in the country to come up with their own take-aways. Hopefully, the lessons about how to create a culture and environment that values innovation can then be applied by the MBAs in their respective home countries and to the companies they will eventually start.”

The online platform, which goes live this week, is designed to allow top-tier MBA students the opportunity to apply for two-three month internships at top companies and startups based in Israel. The online job-matching portal currently hosts more then a dozen job opportunities for this summer’s pilot program. So far, host companies have shown great enthusiasm and interest in the program. “I am excited to see the outcome of our partnership with InsideIL,” said Michal Lubovsky, Global Recruitment Manager for Sodastream. Companies will review applications, conduct interviews, and ultimately select their desired candidates by early March.

InsideIL was established on the belief that US MBA students are interested in, and would benefit from, work experience in the Start-Up Nation. On the flip side, Israeli companies seemed eager to tap into a talent pool that had experience and knowledge of their respective target markets. “While there appears to be a great deal of interest among business school students to spend time working for companies in Israel, most students do not have the network or connections to secure such job opportunities. This is evident in job trends at HBS: of the 1800 students who applied for internships or full-time positions in 2013, only two students took jobs with Israeli companies. InsideIL will address this need by connecting students to relevant job opportunities and providing a simple way to apply to internship positions.”

The founders also hope that the platform will strengthen the connection between top American business schools and the business ecosystem in Israel, as well as facilitate relationships that could lead to future ventures, partnerships and investments in Israel.

Above all, the internships represent an exciting opportunity for MBA students to immerse themselves in Israel’s unique culture. “Living and working in Israel is an incredibly eye-opening, inspirational, and thought-provoking experience. The melting pot of global cultures and diverse historical narratives has created a culture which prods both citizens and visitors to question, debate, and open their minds to new perspectives. Whether your passion is for politics, technology, healthcare, the environment, or social justice, you will find like-minded Israelis who are genuinely curious to learn about your experiences, opinions, and insights.”

For more information, check out www.insideil.org.

February 26, 2014
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