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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Indian Hill High School Grads Get On-The-Job Experience in Israel

 Three Indian Hill High School graduates spent this past summer as interns in Israel. They are part of a group of 21 college students from across the Greater Cincinnati area taking part in Onward Israel, a program that places Jewish students in internships in their chosen fields of study in Tel Aviv. Funding for Onward Israel is made possible through a Cincy Journeys post-high school Israel travel grant funded by The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati and administered by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati. Through the Cincy Journeys program, and with additional funding from the Jewish Agency for Israel, Cincinnati Onward Israel interns are in the unique position of participating in this incredible experience for free.

Jake Young was a summer intern at Weissbeerger, a startup that helps bars and restaurants increase their beverage sales.
So what was it like to intern in Israel? Here’s what they had to say:

Monica Valenti, is a junior at The Ohio State University. Says Monica, “I am studying marketing, and over the summer, I interned in Tel Aviv with a market research company, Ipsos. I lived with 12 of the 21 Cincinnati Onward Israel interns in an apartment that was a 20 minute walk from the beach and a five minute walk from Rothschild Street—a major, bustling street in Tel Aviv. Being in this location truly allowed us to maximize our time in Israel and allowed us to explore everything Israel has to offer, from food to beaches to nightlife.
‘Onward Israel allowed me to fully immerse myself in Israel’s culture, in one of the most exciting and progressive cities in the world. Every aspect of the trip enabled me to do so. By living in an apartment, versus a hostel, we were actually living in Israel, buying groceries, and cleaning up after ourselves; if we would have stayed in a hostel, I would have felt like a guest, not a resident. Adding to my experience, and the main focus of the Onward Israel program, was my internship. Every work day, I commuted via public transportation to my internship in Ramat Gan. Not only did I gain valuable work experience that will be a very welcome addition to my resume, but I had the pleasure of working with amazing people and learning from them, not just about market research, but also about Tel Aviv and the people of Israel. I got to assist with research for clients who seek to learn more about the Israeli market and/or the prospect of entering this market. I was able to work with, learn from, and form bonds with everyone in the Ipsos Israel office, comprised of about 20 team members.

‘Onward Israel provided me with so much that I am very grateful for. The program helped develop my professional skills, build relationships with other members of the Cincinnati Jewish community, and foster a summer of living and working abroad in Tel Aviv.”

Josh Young is a sophomore at Duke University (computer science) and an alumni of Indian Hill High School. Says Josh, “My twin brother Jake and I did the Onward Israel internship program together, but at different companies. I was placed at Aros, an Israeli startup specializing in creating software for outdoor augmented reality. My computer science major and tech background helped me complete work on computer vision and image processing—a project that exposed me to a potential future career path. I enjoyed that the project allowed me to work independently and experience new, interesting types of material.

Josh Young spent the summer interning at Aros, a tech startup in Tel Aviv, Israel.
‘Outside of my daily tasks, I learned a lot about what it’s like to work for a true startup; Aros employs only five people and is still discovering its identity as a company. Through the internship, I was able to make a real impact on project decisions and take ownership of projects, and I got to know my coworkers very well.

‘Life outside of work in Israel was incredible. One week began with a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea! After a long week of work, the cruise provided a great opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather and spend time with our Cincinnati friends and people we met while we were there.”

Jake Young, is currently a sophomore at the University of Virginia and is the twin brother of Josh Young. Stated Jake, “I spent the past summer interning at Weissbeerger, a fast-growing startup taking the beverage analytics industry by storm. Weissbeerger works to help bars and restaurants increase their beverage sales by providing insights and data about their processes while comparing them with other businesses in the area. I was primarily stationed on the research and development team, where I worked on integration for point-of-sale systems and bettering presentation platforms for the analytics team.

‘I really enjoyed several aspects of the internship, but I was most impacted by the company culture. I call it were high. I was treated as a real member of the staff; many of my team members weren’t even aware that I was an intern until I was getting ready to leave.
‘Weissbeerger is a work hard—play hard kind of place. In addition to working in a fast-paced, high-achieving environment, I enjoyed the company’s many celebrations, including Happy Hour Thursdays and company pool parties to unite the company’s dedicated workers.”

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