Hacking your Internship in Israel

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Seems like “Masa” and internship programs are back on the rise in Israel. For talented and promising young professionals coming for such programs nowadays, there could not have been a better time to “squeeze the juice” for the opportunities that are present in the market. But, it required the right state-of-mind. Here’s what I think is most important for interns, Olim, and everyone in general, now more than ever.

As of writing these words, late December 2020, it feels like we’re starting to see the end of COVID-19, but in my opinion this does not mean that the Corona crisis is over. Not with regards to the global economy, at least. This means that we could probably meet, travel, fly more soon – but will still be looking for a better economic future, wherever we are. And this means that all the talk in the past year about Jews/Israeli expats wanting to come (or come back) to Israel will be able to materialize.

For young professionals, this means that coming to Israel for a few months in programs such as Masa Israel Journey will be a very appealing option (regardless of Zionism and such welcomed motives) in a reality where the local economy is still struggling, the job market is still somewhat dormant, Universities and academia are still “up in the air” with regards to campus life and remote study, and mainly – a very strong desire for “change.”

I believe this to be true for high-school grads choosing gap-year programs over college for the next year, for students who decided to take a break and still do not want to go back to campus (sorry, I mean “Zoom”), for college grads who struggle with finding a job and the right career opportunity – and everyone else in between the ages of 17-30 who’s career plans took a hit by the Corona crisis, and are eligible to come to Israel and get a really good “product” – a program which is more empowering, enriching, and fun.

All sounds good, but here’s the tricky part:

If you plan to come to Israel simply to “run away” from your problems, it will not work. If you think you’re “buying a solution” here, it will not work. If you think you should spend time having fun in Israel and expect your program to get your potential future for you, it will not work. Simply put, if you live life like a “customer”, instead of “owner”it will not work. And sadly, many people do.

So, what’s the right approach for any Olim, internes, and other program participants in Israel?

My answer is simple: Think like a business unit! I recently gave a talk to Masa participants from Career Israel, Stagerim, LejLeja and other Israel Experience programs.

In this talk, I tried to detail exactly how that works for internship program participants. Here are some clips from that talk which may bring value to you, your friends, family members or others. If you found them useful, feel free to share them around.

Practical tips for “hacking” the new world of work:

1. Think like “business units” for your career

2. Treat your boss like your customer

3. Stop living your own life like a customer

4. Think business when looking for a job

5. Create growth opportunities at work

6. Craft your career business plan using the LMS analysis

7. Don’t get to the “OH SHIT” moment

8. Why unpaid interns have leverage

About the Author
Assaf is passionate about promoting business in and with Israel, helping and mentoring entrepreneurs, advising young professionals with career planning and self-fulfillment, and more. Assaf acts as a brand ambassador of Israel as 'Start-Up Nation', speaking to thousands of businessmen, investors, entrepreneurs, young professionals, students and others, both in Israel and around the world. Assaf also works as a business development and marketing consultant to Israeli start-ups and others.
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