Award-winning Sofaer International MBA a vehicle for change and inspiration
A Sofaer IMBA delegation at the United Nations
Now in its third year, the Sofaer International MBA program at Tel Aviv University's Recanati Business School has broken away from the pack. Benefitting from a well-rounded curriculum that includes practical business experience, career development, and a focus on social responsibility, students in the Sofaer program have distinguished themselves internationally. They've come out on top in a number of distinguished competitions and presented their projects all around the world, including at the United Nations.
The program's unique approach to business education, which makes each student's interests and individual development a priority, helps graduates succeed in the long term, says Admissions Director Erin Kopelow. Within three months of their graduation date, over half of last year's graduates had been placed in positions with top-notch companies around the globe, she notes.
This month, the program will be holding an online information session at http://imba.tau.ac.il/info-session-jan-22 in which candidates for next years' class can engage with administrators and students to learn more about the program and admissions process.
An emerging alumni network
Keeping an eye on the future success of each student has been a focus of the program, Kopelow says, providing a competitive advantage over many other MBA programs despite its brief existence. Since the program's first year, career services have helped students identify their fields of interest, develop the skills to access opportunities through networking savvy, hone interviewing and pitching skills, and connect to their industry of interest.
Visits to successful companies and guest lectures by industry leaders are a standard part of the Sofaer International MBA agenda. Now, with a growing number of alumni working in a number of countries, a new Alumni Association will be helping graduates of the program stay in contact and network professionally.
"It's a benefit of the international scope of the program that half our graduates live and work abroad. An active alumni community ensures that incoming students have a global network they can rely on," Kopelow says, noting that alumni use online communities and collaborate with TAU events around the world to keep alumni connected.
"MBA Cares" goes mainstream
MBA Cares co-founder Osher Perry at "Save a Child's Heart"
A Sofaer International MBA flagship program, "MBA Cares," focuses on how businesses can help to better their communities. Originally an extracurricular club, it has grown into a full-fledged area of study — addressing issues such as development of corporate responsibility, non-governmental organizations, and social enterprise — which have made MBA Cares a cornerstone of the Sofaer program and philosophy.
"We address important issues such as what corporate responsibility means," says Kopelow, adding that a number of students have applied to the Sofaer program in order to take part in this unique initiative. "The values and messages that the students are exposed to are important to us as a program, they're values and messages they take with them."
Throughout the course, students are encouraged to tackle real-life social problems while gaining practical skills in their area of interest, such as finance or marketing. One project, a business plan for re-opening a textile factory in an economically troubled Druze village in the North of Israel, has applied for grants to move forward. One of the founders of the program, Osher Perry, went on to become a team member for a project called Nets of Peace, which focuses on developing fish farms in Gaza, was presented at the UN through the Spirit Initiative.
Winning more than titles
In three short years, the Sofaer International MBA can boast significant accomplishments, including a first-place win for the Sofaer team in the Dan David Case Study Competition.
Most recently, a Sofaer team was flown to India to present its business plan after making it to the final round in the India Future of Change Business Plan Contest. Four students — Marty Pollak, Israel Sadovitch, Brian Abel and Erika Funck — presented a plan for water purification technology to bring clean drinking water to the millions of Indians without access to this basic need. Israeli based solar technology was the inspiration for their idea, the team says.
As competition finalists, the team was also invited to join in on Jagriti Yatra, an annual train journey through India to inspire young entrepreneurs by exposing them to innovative companies and business people. "Our experience of winning the business plan competition and then participating in this journey was absolutely incredible," said Pollak. "We were able to make many contacts across India and the world and of course were able to represent TAU, Recanati, and the Sofaer International MBA on the international stage."
View video of Marty Pollak sharing his impressions of India and the Sofaer Team’s participation in the India Future of Change Business Paln Contest at a reception for the Indian Foreign Secretary: http://youtu.be/jlyBmgCLIJY