After discontinuing my studies at another University and moving back home to Los Angeles, I found myself yearning to discover my own, unique path. Over a period of diving deep into different industries such as the stock market, real estate, architecture, and automotive design, I couldn’t ignore the feeling that belonging somewhere was at least as important as deciding the industry in which I should unleash my ambition. After contacting various schools in the US and in Israel, I stumbled upon the words: “Raphael Recanati International School. Your Future Awaits.”
My decision to join IDC Herzliya was the most instinctive decision I’ve ever made. I vividly remember my first day on campus, where Professor Uriel Reichman, Founder & President of IDC Herzliya, said, “Here, students are our partners,” followed by Mr. Jonathan Davis, Head of External Relations and President of the RRIS, who boldly proclaimed the University to be “The home of the innovative, humanistic Zionist capitalist, and the heartbeat of the future leadership of the State of Israel.” At that moment, I felt I had made the most important decision of my life, and I had done so correctly.
During my first year, I dedicated myself entirely to learning as many practical skills as my curriculum offered. While volunteering in the International Marketing Department, I developed strong website-building and public speaking capabilities, which I later took to the next level. By the end of my first year, I was building websites for businesses and had become the International Marketing Coordinator of the RRIS, where I had further developed my public speaking abilities in front of over two thousand IDC campus visitors.
That summer, I decided to stretch myself to my limit and take advantage of multiple opportunities that would change my life. I took part in IDC Co-Op; a program designed to position IDC students to find internships with startups and various companies, through which I interned in Powermat - the world’s first company to invent wireless chargers for devices. After learning their sales & business development strategy, I was given the responsibility of generating a leads database of their 120 biggest potential client companies in the UK - an eye-opening experience.
I additionally became an Ambassador of TalentSpace, a global networking organization, joined several programs in the Entrepreneurship Club and the Sales Club, and accepted an offer to become the Director of Marketing for Momentum Startup Accelerator, where I built a marketing team charged with rebranding and restructuring the accelerator. A mentorship-driven, community-powered flagship entrepreneurship program within the IDC, Momentum had skyrocketed to become an icon for innovation. Having received 80 applications from startup companies, the accelerator accepted the top 17 candidates, and I worked directly with each to develop marketing strategies and top-notch presentations for investors. At least 12 raised capital, adding to the astounding 31M NIS raised by Momentum’s alumni since its inception, six years ago.
I continued to learn different disciplines from excellent professors, each experts in their field. I was determined to gain as much professional experience as possible and maximize my time as an IDC student. After an internship, multiple fulfilling employment positions, participation in many initiatives and conducting my own creative work on the side, my second year came to an end and I was faced with the decision that would change the course of my life.
Finally feeling ready enough to take on a bigger challenge, I took a “leap of faith” and started my own company, engaging in my newly discovered passion: writing top-quality English content and brand messaging for Israeli companies.
My third and final year in the RRIS has brought with it opportunities beyond measure, resulting from my desire to take full advantage of the University’s. Having made tremendous progress and now working with many clients across the industries, I look back at my younger self and reflect on my decision to attend IDC with a smile.
Having accomplished so many of my goals during my time here, the greatest gift I was given as an IDC student is a home. As I had originally dreamed, I spent three years of my life where I felt I belonged. After meeting countless fascinating people from all over the world and experiencing astonishing personal and professional growth, I have come to the important realization as a soon-to-be IDC alumni: being a part of an extraordinary community isn’t something that comes to an end when you walk down the graduation ceremony aisle. In fact, it’s just the beginning.
Author: Elishai Zeharya, Business Administration, 3rd YearRaphael Recanati International School, IDC Herzliya