TESTIMONY // Alexandra Borok, 22, a student of Bachelor (Business Administration) at IE University in Madrid.
I got the info from a teacher of IE University in Madrid, which I joined in 2013 after two years of prep school in France. IE co-organized the South Summit, a conference reuniting the 100 best startups in Southern Europe. She urges me to volunteer there and help with its organization. During this congress, I am responsible for the reception and orientation of participants and speakers. This event appears to be an excellent opportunity to “network” and chance puts a summer internship offer on my way.
The co-founders of Pzartech, a start-up in Tel Aviv, came to pitch their project. Jeremie Brabet-Adonajlo and Joachim Hagege present their innovative vision of 3D printing. For them, its democratization is made possible through spare parts and brands’ industrial property protection.
Out of my comfort zone
I slip them a few words in French. The conversation spontaneously drifts about my background and my wish to do an internship in Israel. I already know the country as a tourist and I was seduced by its cultural diversity, economic dynamism and youth. This is a great opportunity to explore the Startup Nation before considering a future there. Indeed, I look where eventually develop myself professionally. For a first experience, I was convinced that it had to focus on a small growing structure rather than a multinational and its inevitable ‘combo’ coffee-photocopies. Technology is not necessarily the sector I am most familiar with, but spending three months in Israel, one of the world mecca of startups, is an amazing opportunity. Too bad for my particular areas of interest (Luxury industry or Entertainment), I will explore them later. Meanwhile, my priority is to get out of my comfort zone!
Wearing T-shirt-shorts-Flipflops is required
After a few emails, a Skype call and an impromptu lunch in Tel Aviv, I landed a three months internship in business development. In June, I joined the Rothschild Boulevard microcosm, in the center of the Silicon Wadi. Here, everyone moves in electric bike and wearing T-shirt-shorts-Flipflops is required. Lilienblum street is home to the oldest office building in Tel Aviv. This is where Pzartech has its office. Location’s seniority contrasts with the youth of its occupants, mostly under 35 years old.
From the very beginning, I was imbued with the rhythm, the expectations, and the flexibility of high-tech environment where routine never happens. The fact that I speak Hebrew was a plus but not a prerequisite – as English dominates in the workplace.
As in, team spirit and interest of the mission took over the Beach Calling. Guided by Jeremie and often in tandem with Alain another intern, we canvassed international partners, submitted grant applications and worked on the development of pilots. At Pzartech, we are all encouraged to share ideas in a permanent emulation. If Tel Aviv is an exciting city, it will take me more than a summer to decide to settle there. I have been able to sample the delights of the startup work environment and I hope for my next internship that the skills acquired will be valued and put to use in a larger company.
Meanwhile, my next step is Rio de Janeiro for a university exchange for seven months in January.
English translation of the news published in French media Les Echos Start on September 3rd, “Comment j’ai décroché mon 1er stage dans la Silicon Wadi !” con link a http://start.lesechos.fr/travailler-a-letranger/temoignages-expats/comment-j-ai-decroche-mon-1er-stage-dans-la-silicon-wadi-398.php