A MASA journey

May 14, 2016 by Hayley Hadassin
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Michael Landis participated in a free 10-day trip with Taglit-Birthright Israel as a teenager and fell in love with the country.

Michael Landis

Michael Landis

When he returned to Australia 25-yr-old Landis contacted the Israel Programs department at the Zionist Federation of Australia to find out about further programs in Israel that would suit his profession and interests.

Landis, who had completed a double degree in Nanotechnology and Business at the University of Technology, Sydney said : “I knew Israel would be the best place for me to get the high-tech business experience I craved. I chose to come to Israel because it has been continuously rated as the best place in the world for its innovative environment. It helps; financially – through generous government tax subsidies and grants; socially, just going to a bar will put you next to a founder of a tech start-up bought by Microsoft, or volunteering will have you next to a nuclear engineer (both of whom are still in touch.) Companies in Israel promote young, passionate graduates to meaningful and valuable positions of responsibility and share the values of hard work, passion and education.”

Our ZFA Israel Programs coordinator and Masa Israel Journey representative, Sarit Braver worked closely with Michael to connect him with the Gvahim Young Leaders Internship organisation. Gvahim is one of the many Masa Israel programs, which provide professional internship opportunities in Israel for young Jewish adults from around the world.

Braver says that: – “A Masa internship gives you a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from industry experts and gain professional experience in your field. Internships are very competitive in Australia and industry experience is a must when looking for a job, a Masa Israel internship can give you the competitive edge you need and will put you ahead of the game when entering the workforce.”

The dynamic Israeli start-up culture has always appealed to Michael as a stronger and more rewarding alternative to the Sydney graduate environment. Michael says: – “The Masa experience for me was a platform for kick-starting my career in nanotechnology, as the opportunities in Australia after graduating from university with a dual bachelors’ in Science and Business in 2013 were, in my experience, very limited.”

Michael was lucky to secure interviews with some fantastic companies that included both start-ups and well-known brands. He chose to intern in Jerusalem with Civan Advanced Technologies. There, he worked alongside physicists and engineers as a lab technician and also in the office with businessmen whom had decades of experience as well as fellow ambitious young minds many of whom were from the nearby Hebrew University. Michael said: – “My program’s extensive network allowed me to gain the ideal internship experience of highly technical, hands-on work, both in the laboratory and in the office, which has realised my abilities and a wealth of skills to add to my arsenal I would not have thought possible had I remained in Australia.”

In addition to the actual internship. Being on a Masa program provided Michael with ulpan lessons, tours and trips around Israel and access to Israeli life and culture that only a Masa participant can experience i.e. lectures and discussions from Members of the Knesset, cultural activities as well as concerts with famous Israeli artists.

Through Gvahim Michael now has a mentor at his workplace, an organised ‘Young Leader’ program and a huge and diverse alumni network at his fingertips. Michael says: – “It has opened many doors I would not have known existed.”

Masa Israel Journey has over 200 programs and offer a myriad of opportunities to; volunteer, study abroad, take a gap year or intern with companies that put your skills to use and provide proficiencies sought after in Australia.

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