IDC Herzliya is a young and constantly evolving institution of higher learning whose entrepreneurial spirit and culture of innovation clearly rub off on its students – which helps explain why so many IDC graduates flock to attractive jobs.
Aaron, Roni, Dennis and Jonathan, current students and recent graduates of IDC Herzliyas Raphael Recanati International School (RRIS), are already living the high-tech dream.
Great for networking
Aaron Bours, 27, originally from Great Neck, New York, made Aliya at age 19 in order to join the IDF. He served in the Givati Brigade and after his discharge decided to stay in Israel, enrolling at IDC Herzliyas Raphael Recanati International School, in the Business track with a major in Marketing.
Aaron graduated from IDC in 2015 and immediately embarked on a career in Israels exciting high-tech scene. I got lucky, he admits. After a long interview process, I was hired by Check Point as a Sales & Marketing Campaign Manager for a new Mobile Threat Prevention product. One of the youngest on the team, he worked at Check Point for a year – until a friend from IDC who worked at Google told him that he was planning to leave and suggested that Aaron should apply for his job. I decided to try because the Google position – which I cant discuss since its confidential – sounded really interesting, says Aaron.
He got the job and started working at Google three months ago, in their famously extravagant Tel Aviv offices. Were treated like royalty! he enthuses about his new work place. Its so interesting and I cant wait to get to the office in the morning. Despite the long hours, Aaron tries to have as much fun as possible and to take advantage of Tel Avivs social life. He rents an apartment in the city with two roommates, both of whom also went to IDC and now work in high-tech and finance.
Aaron insists that his three years at IDC were instrumental in helping him launch his career. There are ridiculous opportunities at IDC for networking and engaging with professors, and I gained a lot of experience talking to high-ups from corporations. IDC supplies the extra boost; other schools simply dont have that. IDC also encourages students to get involved in extra-curricular activities, Aaron explains, adding that its a great way to meet other students and to network.
Broader view of the industry
Roni Firon, who is in her second year of studying Business and Economics at RRIS, already has an incredible resum in high-tech – and shes only 22! A native Israeli, her family lived in Palo Alto, California for ten years, returning to Israel when Roni was 16.
Roni first started working in high-tech after 11th grade, when her Mom helped her secure a summer job at a start-up in Herzliya. After graduating from high school, she started working for Datorama, a start-up specializing in software for data analytics, as an Account Manager providing Tier 1 support. Everyone there was from 8200 [the prestigious IDF Intelligence unit] or at least studied Computers in high school, but I passed the test and interview and they trained me, she notes.
After only two months at Datoramas Tel Aviv office, she transferred to their New York branch. They wanted to expand the New York office and they wanted more Israelis there in order to retain the corporate culture. I had a ticket cue, meaning that clients sent me emails with issues that I had to resolve. However, Roni soon realized that it was counterproductive to stay in New York and so she returned to Israel, where she found a job in customer support at Wix, the successful Israeli company that provides cloud-based webdevelopment platforms. It was a student position that enabled her to work evening shifts from home, which was especially convenient once she began her studies at IDC. The work didnt conflict with my class schedule but it was a juggling act, she attests. I tended to miss classes and learn the material by myself in order to be more efficient and save time.
Now Roni works 25 hours a week at yet another start-up – Seebo. Despite her busy schedule, Roni insists that she has time to be involved at IDC and she appreciates the opportunities she has there. Although part of my studies are theoretical, the classes help me understand the market and give me a broader view of the industry. I especially loved the Organizational Behavior class I took this semester, she raves, adding that Whatever interests you, you can find it at IDC.
Dennis Gavish, from Munich, Germany, studied Psychology at IDC and started working for Moovit, the leading public transportation app, as their German Operations Manager during his last semester of university. I got to dive fresh out of my books and exams directly into day-to-day life in one of Israels most promising start-ups, he attests.
Despite the fact that he studied Psychology, Dennis is convinced that his studies and experiences at IDC played a major role in getting him into Israels tech industry. The Israeli high-tech industry and the start-up industry in particular are avid believers in actively creating opportunities, and this is the same spirit Ive felt myself surrounded with at IDC, he insists. Studying my chosen subjects advanced me personally in many ways, but it was the hands-on courses that really set me on my path to work in this industry. During my third-year internship, I got to participate in an organizational placement program, through which I interned for a year in an organization, providing my first industrial work experience in Israel,
Dennis also sees similarities between the environment on campus, with its diverse student body and entrepreneurial spirit, and the Israeli tech industry. My best friends from class found their way alongside me from IDC straight into the Israeli tech industry, he points out. Companies are happy to teach you themselves or help you acquire the technical skills and invest in you if they see the right mindset and the potential to create an opportunity that can help them on their way to achieve their own goals, he notes encouragingly.
Never stop learning
Jonathan Neff, 20, was born and raised in Philadelphia. He first came to Israel after 10th grade, on a summer trip with the Jewish overnight camp he attended every summer since he was seven. I enjoyed my time so much that I applied for the affiliated semester program while I was still in Israel on the summer program, came back to Philly long enough to pack a suitcase, and I was back. I spent the whole fall semester of my junior year of high school on Kibbutz Tzuba and traveling around the country, he recalls.
As part of the semester program, he toured IDC and fell in love instantly. Back in the States, he decided to apply to IDC in the beginning of 12th grade. He arrived in Israel in October 2014 to start his studies and quickly settled in, working at various jobs alongside his classes.
I work now as a Manager in Customer Success at an exciting start-up called Juno in Tel Aviv. We are a ride-sharing application directly competing with industry giants such as Uber and Lyft, and many R&D departments as well as Support are situated in Tel Aviv. Part of our value proposition is 24/7 phone and email support for both drivers and riders, something oddly enough not offered by our competition. Juno is expanding fast and Support, consequently, is as well, he elaborates.
I gained practical, real-world skills from my course load at IDC, including integrated advertising, consumer trends and behavior, social media management, and public spokesmanship, says Jonathan. My practical experience from IDC makes me feel like a prepared and confident contributor to a growing company.
Jonathan claims he entered the tech world by chance. I moved to Tel Aviv and Juno was looking to hire a young, hip team for its massive undertaking, he explains simply. He advises those looking for a career in tech to never stop learning. High-tech is a constantly evolving industry by nature and you have to stay on top of trends and consumer behavior in order to stay relevant. IDC has helped me in this direction and inspired me to do that: never stop learning, he concludes.
Studying at IDC Herzliya
Year after year, IDC Herzliya is ranked number one in student satisfaction in nation-wide surveys of 10,000 students at 60 Israeli universities and colleges. In addition to the pleasant American-style university atmosphere and all the great social and extra-curricular options, the students are enthusiastic about IDC's academic offerings.
There are over 2,000 international students studying in English at IDCs Raphael Recanati International School (RRIS), accounting for a quarter of the overall student body. RRIS is very proud of its diverse student body – which hails from over 80 countries – and all of its students invariably mention the opportunity of making friends from so many different cultures as one of the major advantages of studying at IDC, says Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations and Head of the RRIS. RRIS is the only institution in Israel that offers a wide variety of excellent full-degree BA programs taught entirely in English: Psychology, Business (with majors in Finance, Marketing or Entrepreneurship), Business and Economics, Communications (majors in Marketing and Political Communications, Visual Content or Interactive Communications), Government (majors in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, Middle East Studies, Counter Terrorism or Business Administration) and the new Computer Science program. Moreover, the Arison School of Business and the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship offer a selective one-year MBA program taught in English that focuses on the management of fast-growth, innovative companies. There are two different tracks: Business Strategy and Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
For more information about IDC Herzliya, visit www.rris.idc.ac.il