This summer I had the amazing opportunity to spend 6 weeks in Israel, and it turned out to be an incredibly exciting and memorable experience.
iXperience Tel Aviv Class, 2019
During the 6 weeks, I spent most of my time in Tel Aviv, the most dynamic city in Israel. There was a saying in the hostel I stayed at and it went like this “Jerusalem prays; Tel Aviv plays.” Indeed, Tel Aviv is a great gathering place for young people. Beautiful beaches surround the shoreline of the city and no matter what day of the week you visit the beach, you will see people of all ages swimming in the ocean, bathing under the sun, and of course playing that famous Israeli bat game called Matcot. At night the city is equally lively; countless bars and clubs are open from 11pm to 4am and they are always filled with people wanting to have a good time.
For me, Tel Aviv not only gave me the chance to have fun but also offered me the opportunity to appreciate the local culture.
My favorite experience was visiting the old city of Jaffa. Jaffa is only a 30 minutes’ walk from where I lived, and at the old city, you see buildings dating back to the Ottoman empire come to life. Those buildings have been refurbished for modern use and Jaffa has become one of the liveliest places in Tel Aviv. Jaffa is a great example of a rich culture infused in a modern society.
The most integral part of my iX experience was the combination of class and internship. The first 2 weeks of the program was filled with intense daily classes, then for the next 4 weeks, I embarked on my internship journey. I took the Investment Finance class with a one of a kind teacher, Brent, and an amazing TA, Elias. Brent is filled with knowledge and expertise about the industry, and more importantly he is extremely patient and willing to help. In the short 6 weeks, I felt like Brent was more than a teacher, he became one of my best friends. His classes were well paced, and there was a good balance of learning and practicing concepts. Every class Brent gave me many opportunities to hone my excel skill, one of the most fundamental skill in the finance world. Under Brent’s mentorship, I can confidently say that I have mastered excel, and also became a poker fanatic.
I did my internship at a local healthcare company called Caesarea Medical Electronics (CME) which was recently acquired by the fully integrated with a multinational pharmaceutical company Becton Dickinson (BD). I worked in the finance department, directly under the supervision of Ofir, the head of the operations finance team. Ofir was great; he not only handed me tasks that challenged my skillsets but also offered me feedback on each stage of the project. With Ofir’s help, I was able to further train my analytical skills, critical thinking skills and presentation skills.
iX was such a special experience for me because of the people there. From my teacher and mentor, Brent, to my program organizers, Tyler and Dani, to my fellow students, everyone on this tour made the journey better.
We shared our respect and awe at the old city of Jerusalem, we shared our sweat climbing up Mt Masada to catch the sunrise, we shared our joy floating in the dead sea and rubbing mud on each other’s backs.
The 6 weeks program is the perfect demonstration of carpe diem. As I described to a friend in these 6 weeks, I had learned so much and also had so much fun. This iX experience will definitely be remembered for years to come, and the people I have met during the program will likely be my confidants, counselors and companions in my professional career.