How Jarred Maram Hacked his Internship
Since starting this blog, I shared many of my thoughts about careers in the new world of work, why an entrepreneurial approach is key to survive and thrive, and how thinking like a business unit is the best way I know to operate in today’s work and business environment.
Working with many international talents in Israel, and especially with “Olim” (those who made “Aliyah” – new immigrants) and participants of programs such as Masa Israel Journey, Onward Israel and others, I directed many of my tips for this community – from how to better look for a job and leverage your unique added value , through what is the secret opportunity of your internship and what is the most important thing to do when taking an internship, to how your internship is likely to behave, and many more…
But, nothing beats hearing it from others. This time, I am happy to have Jarred Maram, who I was honored to mentor when he participated in a post-college 4-month long Masa program.
Jarred, tell us a little bit about your story?
My name is Jarred Maram, I am originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. I grew up there, but always wanted to move abroad. Given the fact that I am Jewish, I always felt connected to Israel. I finished Law School in South Africa and worked for a few years before deciding to come to Israel. I came in 2018 on a Masa program, where I took a 5 month internship in a startup accelerator. I made Aliyah after my Masa program ended, and I am currently in Tel Aviv, working as a content writer. I am passionate about marketing and developed an interest in content writing during my time here.
What was your original motivation to sign up an internship program in Israel?
Back when I was in South Africa, working after finishing my law degree, I felt like I needed a change. I wanted to start fresh, in a different country and seek new challenges. Also due to my connection to Israel, I wanted to get a feel for what it’s like to live and work there, before making the commitment to stay or move elsewhere. A friend recommended that I do a Masa program and I thought it was a good opportunity to break into a new career while starting a new life overseas. Even though I have a background in law, I was able to arrange an internship in business development. The Masa program was extremely helpful in allowing me to do this. I was connected to an internship coordinator via the Masa Program, which gave me a huge advantage to switch from a legal background into an entirely new field – in my case this was business development.
What was the hardest moment in your journey, with regards to your connection to Israel?
The process of finding a job, while at the same time looking for an apartment and making Aliyah was definitely the hardest part. The program gives you a safety net, but once the program ends you’re on your own! When I had to deal with so many things at once and needing to do most of the work myself to get started was challenging. It’s a roller coaster of emotions – anxiety, pressure and not knowing what the future holds. Truth be told, it broke me. I got a job which eventually didn’t work out. But, I knew that there was no time to cry, and I needed to push on no matter what. When I was on a job hunt for the second time, I said to myself that I have “been there before.” And sure enough, I bounced back and found a better job.
What helped you the most to overcome this challenging moment?
I learned to be more direct in the way I communicate. I also made use of as many resources as possible, especially LinkedIn, which has been one of the most useful platforms when it comes to networking and finding a job.
The key to overcoming these challenges was to channel all the panic and uncertainty into looking for a job. I am not fluent in Hebrew, but I did not see it as an obstacle in my job search or a reason to give up. The key was to keep banging on doors, speak to career consultants and recruitment agencies, apply over LinkedIn Jobs (via “Easy Apply”) and use Facebook groups which are focused on job opportunities for native English speakers.
What is your best career advice for talented young professional who consider participating in a career and internship program in Israel?
My best advice would be to first determine what your strongest skills are that you can offer. Once you have done this, figure out which companies can use somebody like you. You’ll also need to align yourself with the Israeli job market, which could mean switching careers entirely. More importantly, don’t let the fact that you’re not fluent in Hebrew bring you down. There are companies in Israel where English speakers are able to add value, and it is possible to find your ideal job using the tools you already have.
What is your best advice for career-minded young professionals who are currently doing an internship program in Israel?
There are a lot of companies here who require native english speakers and that’s where people should be focusing on. If you plan on staying in Israel, start planning as early as possible. Always be one step ahead! Don’t leave your job search to the last minute. A good time to start would be 1-1.5 months before the end of your internship program, or – before you want to actually look for a job. Start sending at least 10-15 CV’s a day. After 100 applications, that’s where you should expect to start seeing traction. At least that’s how it has been for me. Another tip is to constantly work to improve your network and especially grow your LinkedIn profile. Attend meetups, seek the advice of people who you think may be able to assist or advise you in your job search. That one connection you make may very well be the key to getting your next job!
What is your advice for any young professionals out there, who may struggle to find their career path?
Explore different opportunities and go out of your comfort zone. You’re still young and now is the time to figure out what really interests you. Find a job, even if it’s not what you want at the time. It’s really important to build your experience. Embrace the unknown and don’t be afraid to explore a new career path. Once you find a company that needs your skill set, you may find a job that turns out to be exactly what you’ve been searching for all along.