In the continuing economic recession, 7,200 college graduates have headed to Israel for professional internships—an increase of almost 50% since 2007—and American companies are now taking notice.
Masa Israel collaborated with New York University's Career Center and Rochester Institute of Technology's Office of Career Services to develop the Employer Thought Leadership Summit in Israel and enable international business leaders to visit Israeli companies with American interns, share best practices for international internships, and discuss Israeli-North American business relations with Israeli government officials.
Participating companies include Ernst & Young, Citigroup, Deloitte, Wells Fargo Securities, Cisco Systems, Urban Outfitters, Inc, Maximus Consulting, Teach for America, Constellation Energy, Prudential, the Southwestern Company, Enterprise Holdings, and Whirlpool Corporation.
"Ernst & Young takes a long term view with respect to talent management, firmly believing that today's students will be tomorrow's business leaders,” said Ernst & Young's Americas Director of Campus Recruiting Dan Black.
“Attracting and hiring top candidates through internships, and providing them diverse opportunities that will help them realize their potential, has long been a critical component of our recruitment strategy in the US and beyond.
"The Employer Thought Leadership Summit in Israel provides an excellent opportunity to discuss best practices and strategy with delegates from an array of industries, as well as Masa participants who truly exemplify a global mindset.”
For many, the internship experience in Israel has resulted in job offers back in the US from investment banks, business consulting firms, architecture firms, etc. New York-native Michelle Laufer was employed by PricewaterhouseCoopers after interning at Israel Securities Authority, and Jesse Zryb was hired by Pink Inc, an event design firm, after completing an architecture internship in Tel Aviv.
"Israel's robust and diverse economy is a great place for college graduates to gain initial work experience," said Avi Rubel, Masa Israel's North American director.
"In addition, the 'start-up' culture, which is pervasive in Israel, teaches our interns about innovation - one of the most important skills for any young employee. We're excited to collaborate with US companies on increasing internships in Israel and growing the US-Israel business relationship."
This year, Masa Israel, which offers 180 five-to-12-month career development, volunteering and academic opportunities, has almost 10,000 participants. Interns are unpaid, work 15-20 hours a week, receive mentorship, learn Hebrew, and tour Israel.
The week-long Employer Thought Leadership Summit in Israel included visits to Israeli companies, and meetings with Israeli business owners and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky.
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