Sofaer IMBA Uniting Town and Gown Thursday, February 4, 2010
Program's first semester brings American Friends' concept to robust reality
With 55 students from 21 countries, the Sofaer family’s vision of a pluralistic, International MBA experience in business is already being realized at Tel Aviv University.
Including a high percentage of women, and representation from the Arab world and the East, admissions director Erin Kopelow reports that the new Sofaer IMBA — now ending its first semester — is successfully fulfilling its mission.
“Our talented and impressive students are engaging in, and winning, local business competitions,” reports Kopelow. “Their ambitious spirit and out-of-the-box thinking is already trickling down to the Israeli business community at large, where they’ve been presented with certain business dilemmas to solve.”
As part of their course load in finance, marketing, and accounting, students have participated in a variety of seminars that closely link with the local business scene in Israel. They've heard from a visiting professor from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School on biomedical entrepreneurship and related niches in the Israeli market. And the group has had the chance to examine opportunities in the electric car market, an Israeli specialty.
The students are also involved in international contests, such as Asia’s Global Business Challenge, and eventually will begin work on internships in local businesses that offer footholds in the international business world.
Learning how to manage multiple cultures in a business setting and how to infuse corporate social responsibly into business practices was also part of this semester’s training. Students broke for the semester on January 26, and will return to Tel Aviv University for two more semesters in the accelerated program — one in the spring and a third semester this summer.
“Many students choose to study in Israel for its unique location between East and West, and for its growing reputation as a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Kopelow. “Via our academic curriculum and extracurricular initiatives, our students are connecting with the companies and business players behind Israel's innovative and entrepreneurial energy.
“Our goal is that through these connections our students expand their knowledge and build relationships that they will take with them throughout their careers — whether those careers are in Israel or abroad."