Two months at an internship just isn’t enough. Especially not in Tel Aviv. Especially not when you find a company where you can contribute in a meaningful way. We’re told over and over again that Israeli companies don’t understand internships in the same way that we do in North America, but I almost disagree. I think Israelis understand what Americans believe internships are supposed to be. We imagine internships to be this venue for companies to get useful labor while interns learn valuable experience and make meaningful connections. Israelis integrate interns into the team, baptize them by fire, and make them part of the business, teaching them all of the lessons students dream of when they think of getting industry experience.
I spent two months working at Headline Media, an international strategic communications firm, where I worked on public relations accounts for some of Israel’s top tech companies as well as managed social media and worked on business development. I worked with a team of incredible people who not only helped me do great work, they also helped me feel at home in a country very far from my own.
Working in communications in Israel is a unique experience. In talking to journalists from foreign media outlets covering Israel, they’re always excited to hear about news from one of the most exciting areas in the world. When talking to Israeli diplomats or tech firm executives, they’re excited to learn about how to deal with a foreign media that has more than once painted a less than perfect picture of Israel. Getting to experience Israel as a part of the international landscape was an amazing perspective to gain. Doing so from the heart of Tel Aviv, arguably the real center of the country, made the experience that much better.
People often call Tel Aviv “the city that never sleeps.” That sounds like a reference to New York, but Tel Aviv is not quite the same. In the Big Apple, everyone is ambitious and driven, but often stressed and feeling overwhelmed. New York City is a constant uphill battle where maybe one day, if you’re really lucky and really good, you make it to the top. In Tel Aviv, the enormous community of young people aren’t stressed about their lack of sleep, they all believe they can take over the world, that they can do anything. Tel Aviv is a roller-coaster that only goes up.