Leaving Israeli law for business education abroad

Just two weeks after getting married I left Israel and moved to France to study for my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at HEC Paris.

My decision to do so was the end of a journey to get accepted to one of the top MBA programs in the world, and the beginning of an even more exciting and challenging journey of pursuing my dreams.

Ever since I was 20-years-old, I knew I wanted to do a prestigious Master’s degree at an international school. HEC Paris seemed ideal. I genuinely believe that my challenging and exciting time here will help me become a truly multicultural manager – you only need to see the relatively small MBA class of 140 students that consists of 40 nationalities!

For many years, I served in regular and reserve service as a control tower manager in the Israeli Air Force. There I directed all control tower operations in the air force’s busiest airport. It felt natural managing people and being responsible for important tasks, so when I finished my three-year service I decided that my first step as a civilian would be studying Business Management and Law at Tel Aviv University. I saw these studies as a stepping stone for business and leadership positions, and I tried to get some international exposure by participating in a student’s exchange program in Germany.

Throughout this time, I continued in an active reserve service in the same position in the control tower. Here I had the privilege of training dozens of air traffic controllers and helping develop their managerial skills alongside their professional abilities.

After graduating from Tel Aviv University, completing a law internship in FBC & Co and passing the bar exams, I started working as a lawyer at Will Itzhaki & Co. I was lucky enough to work with great people while practicing diverse and intensive legal work, ranging from defending our clients against class actions and handling other litigation cases to negotiating and writing M&A and joint ventures contracts. I was also a legal counsel to individuals and corporations. In many ways, my career path was clear.

However, after several years, I felt I wanted to create a significant and personal impact. I wanted to have an international career that will make a difference in the world and to fulfill my full potential. I knew that I was ready for my next step.

With the support of my wife, who has always encouraged me to follow my dreams, I decided to apply to business school. I knew that the MBA at HEC Paris would give me a chance to become a business leader rather than a legal advisor, and would enable me to achieve my goals and grow internationally.

I’m now approaching my first exam period at HEC. Despite being only three months into my MBA, I can honestly say that the whole experience has been fascinating. My MBA class is 92% international and we come from a huge variety of professional backgrounds. We have so much to talk about and so much to learn from each other’s experiences. I think that such exposure to different backgrounds and cultures is priceless. If taken with an open mind, it can lead to great personal growth and development. It has allowed me to rethink and question the assumptions and views I hold. Moreover, it is amazing to see how different our backgrounds are, but how much we have in common.

So far, the greatest difficulty I have encountered is managing my time between school, my social life, extracurricular activities, career activities and my personal life. Of course, on top of that, I’m participating in the competitive sport of tasting French wine and cheese!

A major part of my decision to study here was the belief that HEC Paris will open doors for me. I now have access to the prestigious HEC alumni network, where nearly 4,000 graduates are currently CEOs, CFOs, or have founded their own companies. I also often get to meet and learn from the experience of these successful managers in many different industries.

I am continually learning and pushing myself to become a better man and leader. Meeting such inspirational and different people in and outside of the classroom, while handling personal challenges, is enabling me to become a better, more rounded person.

I want to make a difference in the world and my MBA at HEC Paris is giving me the opportunities and knowledge to do it. I feel like I chose the perfect time to move to France, it’s a time for a change, innovation, and improvement, and I’m so excited to be a part of it.

About the Author
MBA Candidate at HEC Paris Class of 2019
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