by Kira Cohen ’21, Journalism and Psychology
This summer, fourteen University of Maryland students were granted the opportunity to work in and explore Israel for the summer. The TAMID Fellowship, an 8-week summer internship program, provided these students hands-on experience with Israeli startups as well as exposure to Israeli culture and society. More than just professional development and a trip to a foreign country, the summer was a hallmark of these students’ undergraduate experiences, introducing them to diverse students from other universities and bringing them closer to one another.
TAMID is a pro-bono business consulting club spanning college campuses across the country that gives students hands-on experience with companies in Israel. During the school year, members choose to join consulting teams that advise Israeli companies on the solutions to important business problems or the Investment Fund program, in which teams conduct equity research and manage a stock portfolio. Each summer, TAMID sends select members from across the country to intern in Israel.
The UMD Fellows this summer interned in a variety of industries, such as tech, digital marketing and nonprofit work in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The talents and resources that the fellows brought with them from Maryland to Israel–– English abilities, coding skills and consulting and research work––were huge assets that greatly contributed to the companies. In turn, the internships granted the fellows professional, critical thinking and management skills that they will bring back to campus next year.
Over the course of the summer, fellows connected to Israel through four different trips: the North, Jerusalem, Nitzana, and the Galilee. During the North trip, students were introduced to Israeli nature through a rafting and camping adventure, followed by a visit to Haifa’s Baha’i gardens and a traditional lunch with people from the Druze religion. In Jerusalem, fellows were able to choose from six different itineraries, ranging from touring Jerusalem’s classic sites to learning about diversity within the city. The Nitzana trip exposed fellows to an Ethiopian village and fresh produce in the middle of the desert, followed by a weekend in the remote area next to the Egyptian border. At the end of the summer, fellows visited Nazareth and enjoyed one of Israel’s signature water parks in the Galilee. Additionally, living in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for 8 weeks immersed fellows in Israeli society, and many fellows chose to explore Israel’s cities during their time off on weekends.
The summer closed with a special thank you dinner for our UMD Fellows and their bosses, sponsored by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. Fellows came together from different companies and different industries to a nice restaurant in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, July 31, to learn about each other’s experiences and share the highlights of their summers.
The night kicked off with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, where students met each others’ coworkers and heard about their various companies. After sitting and enjoying delicious appetizers, each fellow introduced themselves, their job and summarized their main takeaways from the summer. For the rest of the night, fellows and their bosses chatted over traditional Israeli meats (and vegetarian options), and finally, dessert.
Although the fellows are home now and the semester has begun, they’re bringing their Israel experience with them. The skills they’ve gained, people they’ve met and terrain they’ve explored have been integral to their undergraduate experiences and beyond. We’d like to thank the Dingman Institute for their generous grant and TAMID Group for this life-changing summer.