In a hyper-competitive recruitment landscape, an international internship will give you the edge
A word of advice to college students out there: Interning abroad is a huge leap, so take the chance and follow my lead
As a sophomore in college, I was at a crossroads in my career: should I intern with an international investment bank in Manhattan or with Deloitte in Tel Aviv? My decision changed my life’s course, and I could not have been more grateful.
The opportunity to intern in Israel arose from being a member of TAMID Group, a competitive Israeli-focused business organization at the University of Michigan and 51 other college campuses, where being a chapter leader positioned me well to be accepted to the 2017 Fellowship in Tel Aviv. TAMID Group partners with Onward Israel and “International Interns in Israel,” year after year to connect Israeli companies with motivated students, providing them with early-in-career, hands-on experience. Thinking about what would give me the best competitive edge in my career, I eventually decided the Fellowship was the best option. Looking back, it was what kick-started my career towards private equity and entrepreneurship in Los Angeles.
Interning at Deloitte as a Financial Modeling and Valuation intern was an incredible opportunity, as I gained exposure to company contracts and developed foundational skills in building financial models. I was staffed on bio-pharma companies, real estate projects, PPP’s (Public Private Partnerships), and even a multinational defense contract. Unique to Israeli culture, I was the youngest intern in the office by 10 years but was still expected to perform at post-graduate levels. The skills I developed over this 8-week internship proved to be instrumental to my success today. Not only do my managers and I still remain close to this day, but they are also always extremely supportive of every leap I take in my career.
Programs like these are extremely beneficial for international students to gain a unique lens to another culture and see why Israel is so successful. When students are considering how to make themselves stand out in a hyper-competitive recruiting environment, attending an international internship program can, and often does, prove to be a difference maker.
The following summer in 2018, I was interning in Bank Leumi’s New York office while concurrently studying for Level 1 of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam. Sitting at a Starbucks, I was approached by a woman who ran a start-up in the fashion industry and recognized the TAMID sticker on my laptop. After some quick introductions, she asked if I would be willing to structure a consulting project for her company, where she needed help with financial modeling. Drawing on my previous experience at Deloitte, I immediately offered my newfound expertise, helping her eventually raise $2 million over the subsequent two years with my financial models. From this project, I began working off of referrals, eventually spanning my business across four cities, five accelerators, and over 40 clients. I have since worked across multiple industries and am now living in Los Angeles; I have even worked with many Hollywood celebrities’ companies to provide them with my skillset.
Upon graduation, I was chosen to return to Israel as a Program Mentor for the TAMID 2019 Summer Fellowship, which was the perfect opportunity to bring on several high-achieving students to help me take on more clients while balancing a full-time job in real estate private equity. Years after my initial internship experience at Deloitte, I can write with confidence that interning abroad is not only the best way for students to establish their career paths, but also for companies who support international internships to maintain a pulse on the intersection between rising ecosystem leaders and the Israeli economy. To this day, the connections I made are still paying dividends and have proved crucial to helping me reach my true potential.
A word of advice to college students out there: Interning abroad is a huge leap, so take the chance and follow my lead. From interning at a start-up company in Israel, to mentoring other fellows, to opening my very own business, I can say that everything turned out for the best. The internship certainly changed my life and helped me reach goals I didn’t know could exist. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Nathanial Rosenblum is the Founder of Mountain South, LLC