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Olim2Tech: Using the Advantages of a Global Mindset While Building your Tech Career

Photographer: Ella Weisner @ITC Rooftop

The Israeli melting pot is a great example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. I can’t overemphasize how much we need not only Olim (immigrants to Israel) but also the advantages they bring with them in general, and to the high-tech scene in particular. People who have made Aliyah (immigrated) to Israel have learned a great deal about both Israeli culture and themselves. Such a move usually means going way outside one’s comfort zone, which is what it takes to navigate smoothly between cultures and bring that advantage into the global business arena.

When I was invited to give a lecture on cross-cultural communication at the

Photographer: Ella Weisner

Olim2Tech event (organized by ITC, the Tel-Aviv municipality and Gvahim), I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to discuss the importance of a global mindset as well as to learn from people with firsthand experience in the subject. During the event, I moderated a panel in which two Olim and I discussed their experiences and valuable lessons for others. Let’s give Nathan Cavaglione and Daniel Guedj the stage:

Daniel Guedj

Photographer: Ella Weisner

A “new immigrant” from France, who now works at Google Cloud in Technical Solutions. He made Aliyah in 2016 after graduating from a business school and gaining 1.5 years of experience at KPMG in Paris. After six months learning Hebrew at Ulpan Etzion in Haifa and 1.5 years of service in the Israeli army, he started working at Deloitte Israel. He later chose to transition into high-tech and in 2020 registered for the Gvahim Career Program. He was introduced to an HR advisor and to a mentor who helped him immensely.

It took Daniel nine months to find the perfect job. He said, “Each interview I passed gave me hope, and each failed process was like being punched, as it meant going through the whole process again. The most challenging part was the long process, the wait, and the disappointment after each failed process. However, each interview gave me some more keys to prepare for the next one, and I was able to acquire more and more experience to understand what I was missing in the one I failed before.”

Daniel’s advice is to try and get connections: “For almost all the interviews I was invited to, someone from the inside had referred me. The “friend brings a friend” policy is very strong in Israel.“ One of Daniel’s connections worked at Siemplify, a cybersecurity firm, where Daniel was hired and worked till Google acquired the company. Now he officially works at Google Israel, on Siemplify products.

Nathan Cavaglione

Photographer: Ella Weisner

A “new immigrant” from Nice, France, co-founder and CTO at Fairgen. Nathan initially came to Israel in 2018 to complete a Data Science bootcamp at ITC, straight after graduating from a Bachelor & Masters in Electronics. At ITC, Nathan’s teacher and co-founder of start-up Datagen proposed him to join as a Founding Engineer. In 2021, Nathan left Datagen to found Fairgen, an AI Fairness platform that can remove biases in datasets.

The day after Olim2Tech, Nathan posted five useful takeaways for immigrants who want to integrate into the Israeli workplace:

  • Israel is a network economy. Get someone to recommend you if you want to get the job.
  • Israelis look less at your diploma and more at you: your attitude, your skills, how you come across.
  • Speed is more valued than perfection and content is more valued than form.
  • Directness and honesty are essential. If you don’t ask, you will never get what you want.
  • Take ownership and demonstrate a can-do approach. If it’s your project, no obstacle should stop you.

And I would add: The broader your perspective, the more you bring to the table. There’s nothing like experience, keeping an open mind, understanding that every culture has its own norms and emphasis, and learning to adapt accordingly without losing your own special qualities in the process. Huge thanks to Daniel and Nathan for generously sharing their experience with us.

About the Author
I’m an intercultural expert. The Founder of OLM-Consulting and the author of the Amazon bestselling book ‘Israeli Business Culture’. I’m passionate about cultures, connecting humans and breaking through culture barriers. I also created the ISRAELI™ model of Israeli business characteristics (Informal, Straightforward, Risk-Taking, Ambitious, Entrepreneurial, Loud, Improvisational) to reveal the foundations of the Israeli innovative culture. I supports many organizations and individuals to effectively connect and engage with Israelis, avoid misunderstanding and maximize the value of combining the innovative Israeli spirit into a multi culture environment.
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