Is­raeli MBA stu­dents com­pete in Con­cor­dia meet

The Canadian Jewish News (Montreal) - - News - JAN­ICE ARNOLD

lo­cal com­pany whose iden­tity is kept se­cret un­til the last minute.

The BGU team was de­lighted that the com­pany turned out to be We­work, a New York-based com­pany started by an Is­raeli, Adam Neu­mann, in 2010. It now pro­vides shared workspaces and ser­vices to en­trepreneurs in coun­tries around the globe.

Last year, We­work opened in Mon­treal, and its rep­re­sen­ta­tives wanted ideas from the com­peti­tors on how to grow the busi­ness here.

Memo­rial Uni­ver­sity of New­found­land was the first-place win­ner of the 2017 com­pe­ti­tion.

All of the Is­raeli par­tic­i­pants are com­plet­ing the one-year Man­del So­cial Lead­er­ship MBA Pro­gram in BGU’S Guil­ford Glazer Fac­ulty of Busi­ness and Man­age­ment.

This pro­gram is unique in Is­rael, pro­vid­ing train­ing in the man­age­ment of non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions and so­cial en­trepreneur­ship. Stu­dents are ex­pected to vol­un­teer in the com­mu­nity while they study.

BGU’S par­tic­i­pa­tion has been made pos­si­ble from the be­gin­ning with sup­port from the Cana­dian As­so­ciates of Ben­gu­rion Uni­ver­sity (CABGU).

Dia­mant, who also holds an MA in lin­guis­tics, is the fi­nan­cial di­rec­tor of a pro­gram that fos­ters co­ex­is­tence among the youth of Is­rael’s di­verse com­mu­ni­ties through sport. Learn­ing busi­ness tech­niques, he be­lieves, will help him be more ef­fec­tive in bring­ing about so­cial change.

Anat Co­hen, who has a BA in so­cial work from BGU and is work­ing with at-risk Ethiopian young­sters, said she was proud to rep­re­sent Is­rael. “We got a lot of ques­tions about us and Is­rael, and I was glad to talk about it,” she said.

Oded Harel, who has a BA in po­lit­i­cal sci­ence and was un­til re­cently em­ployed by the stu­dent union, ad­mit­ted he wasn’t sure what he was get­ting into when he was cho­sen to come to Mon­treal and em­bark on two months of prepa­ra­tion.

He has no re­grets. “It’s in­cred­i­ble what we learned and the peo­ple we met. Nowhere else could we find that.”

Roey Yamin, who de­scribed the ex­pe­ri­ence as “mind-blow­ing,” left a mar­ket­ing job in 2012 to work in the non-profit sec­tor. The self-de­scribed “snob from Tel Aviv” is now a leader of a the­atre for the hear­ing and vis­ually im­paired.

“We’re dream­ers. We all want to make a bet­ter world, and we’re not ashamed to say it,” said Keren Lavi, who works for Mi­falot, a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­motes peace through soc­cer.

“The [Man­del pro­gram] has given us the busi­ness tools to be a lot more pro­fes­sional in our fields,” she said.

The team was coached by Prof. Pierre Kletz, the di­rec­tor and founder in 2010 of the Man­del pro­gram. The French na­tive, who holds a doc­tor­ate from HEC Paris, said BGU in­tends to re­turn next year and do even bet­ter.

Kletz was as­sisted by Shachar Li­ran-hanan who was a mem­ber of the 2016 BGU team. She is now CEO of Mytruth, a grass­roots non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion com­pris­ing re­serve sol­diers who seek to raise aware­ness of the high moral stan­dards of the Is­rael De­fence Forces.

“I learned so much last year from the com­pe­ti­tion,” Li­ran-hanan said. “It’s re­ally a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity.”

CABGU na­tional ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Mark Men­del­son hopes the Mon­treal com­mu­nity will con­tinue to sup­port BGU’S par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“These are the next lead­ers of Is­rael. They come to a for­eign city, in the winter, not know­ing what to ex­pect, and they give it their all.”

Ben-gu­rion Uni­ver­sity MBA stu­dents and their coaches line up be­side the flags rep­re­sent­ing the coun­tries in the case com­pe­ti­tion.

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