For college students, summer vacation is an opportunity to spend time gaining experience, developing and growing their professional selves by interning for a company or organization they find related to their interests. While initially conducting the search for internships, a lot of my peers from my University prioritized where they geographically would be placed, primarily trying to find a placement in bigger cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or D.C. Interning is a great way to spend the summer while in college because students develop new skills from working, are able to network for jobs down the road after college, and also can be an enjoyable experience outside of the office depending on where you could be located.

Personally, I have a natural tendency to have my eyes set on Israel. I’m currently interning for a tech start-up in Ramat HaChayal, one of Israel’s many tech park’s located in northern Tel Aviv. I’m interning for a company called Coralogix, a start-up focusing on providing real-time log analytics to businesses with big data in order to gain actionable insights from their logs. I’ve been interning for Coralogix for the past 5 weeks, and my time has been exciting since I’ve been here.

For the past three years I have tried to find a way to intern for a start-up in Israel, mainly through summer fellowship programs or other related organizations, but I am here on my own this summer interning and it’s been great so far.

Another day at the office with Naomi, Jake, and Ariel

Another day at the office with Naomi, Jake, and Ariel

Ever since I read Start-up Nation after my freshman year of college, I was fascinated by the start-up culture in Israel and how I wanted to be a part of it. There are a lot of advantages when it comes to interning for a start-up; you get your hands dirty in anything they throw at you, giving you exposure to tasks or projects you might not have been familiar with or hired to do, but it pays off because the well-rounded experience shows that you are open minded to your work and develop a great work ethic.

I was not familiar with log analytics or log data management before I started interning, but the team has been more than helpful and they make sure that I understand what is going on in the office. I also do a good amount of my own research, and even taught myself how to navigate through Google AdWord campaigns and use other related online marketing tools. What I really enjoy about working in the start-up environment is the drive to find solutions to problems that haven’t yet been figured out. There’s a lot of energy in the office where I work. There are eight of us, including myself and another intern from the TAMID Fellowship.

But I am not the only one who has this desire to find an internship in Israel for the summer. It’s become a common phenomenon. Young, college-aged students are coming to Israel in the summer, through programs such as TAMID, OnWard Israel and Masa, or independently such as myself, because Israel offers a unique experience to intern abroad and gain hands-on experience, that I personally feel is lacking in the classroom’s back on campus. But why do they come to Israel to intern, instead of interning for KPMG, Deloitte or Accenture in the states?

There is something appealing and attractive to students, such as myself, who come to intern in Israel with start-ups. Start-up’s in their initial stages aren’t supplied with a vast amount of resources, and they have to act swiftly, strategically, and effectively in order to be successful.  Israel’s characteristics of being a nation continuously advancing in technology, being a relative small nation located in a rough neighborhood, having very few resources to work with, and managing to continuously thrive and progress may be a reason for this. The fight to persevere, advance, and develop technology is contagious, and I think that is what attracts interns to this place, because of the energy of the work environment is intertwined with the country.

Groups on campus, such as TAMID, a national student business organization focused on consulting and investment with the context on the Israeli economy, are providing a way for students from their chapter’s a way to come to Israel to intern with start-up’s for the summer. I was involved in TAMID at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and from what I noticed from the time I was one of the founders until I graduated this past May was that there is a growing urge for students demanding to get hands-on experience outside of the classroom, and TAMID offers students of any other background to apply if they are interested.

It’s required that you learn about start-up’s, go through case studies, and the Israeli economy a semester before you start working with start-up’s for semester-long projects. This gives students a chance to provide some services, pro-bono, to start-up’s who are in their initial stages, and in return students are able to get experience and skills from the start-up’s they work with. For those that participant on the the TAMID Fellowship in the summer, they are immersed into Israeli culture, through working with their company’s to living in apartments in the heart of Tel Aviv.

My fellow intern at Coralogix, Naomi Gutstein, is a participant on the TAMID Fellowship.  Naomi explains, “I’ve been going to a Jewish Day School since I was 5, and most of the curriculum regarding Israel was always religious and historical based, but when entering college, I was introduced to a new side of Israel that I never knew existed before, the start-up culture”.  This led her to get involved with TAMID on her campus at Northwestern and made it possible for her to intern for a start-up through the TAMID Fellowship.

A view of the Kirya from the Google Campus in Tel Aviv

A view of the Kirya from the Google Campus in Tel Aviv

It’s an exciting time to be in Israel over the summer, and interning for a start-up is a great way to experience life here inside and outside the office.  You learn valuable life lessons by living abroad, and especially working abroad.  As the summer progresses, I look forward to personally grow professionally and as a young adult, and also have some time to enjoy my stay in Tel Aviv.

Make sure to check out Coralogix at coralogix.com. To follow what Naomi and I are doing throughout our time at Coralogix, follow us @coralogixinterns on our Tumblr, http://coralogixinterns.tumblr.com/