SodaStream My Heart | Abby Ortenberg

As a recent college graduate taking a year off from studying before going back to pursue a master’s degree without an interim job, I was lost. When I thought back to my Birthright-Taglit experience however, I remembered hearing about a 5-10 month program in Israel and started researching.

My original plan was to get a job with a 6-month contract, spend the spring/summer of 2018 in Israel, and then return back to the US for graduate school. Unfortunately, the job hunt was not going so well, so I settled for a summer camp counselor position. Fortunately however, that meant that I able to go to Israel earlier! I researched (too many) programs, decided that I wanted to do an internship, and chose Career Israel.

Since I was planning on going to graduate school for Food Science, I wanted an internship that was at least somehow related to food research and development. After looking at the many internship options I was given, SodaStream seemed like the best choice. It was the only place where I could intern on an R&D team. As a well known global company, I knew that SodaStream would give me the career boost I was looking for from an internship, and my lack of Hebrew knowledge would not be a total hindrance to my success.

What I didn’t know, however, was how much I would love interning. From day 1, I was in the lab making syrups, and felt like a real member of the team. I had as much responsibility as my 2 senior coworkers and my boss trusted me to do things on my own. There is no hand holding in Israel! I learned so much in 4 very short months as a food engineering intern and really found a place and passion. I realized how valuable I was as a team member and to always believe in my skills.

While I don’t plan on staying in Israel right now, I will never forget the professional connections, close friendships, and life experience that was created here, and would not trade my experience for the world!