More than 175 passionate college business students gathered in early September for TAMIDcon, bringing together student leaders from each of TAMID Group’s 46 college chapters that offer students experiential learning through business in Israel. For TAMID’s leadership, it is the most highly anticipated event of the year filled with learning, creating, and collaborating.
This was my first TAMIDcon, and I relished the opportunity to network with peers with similar passions for business at an event created explicitly by students. During my freshman year George Washington University, TAMID appealed to me because it was the only organization on campus that offered students authentic projects. We build and manage investment portfolios comprised of Israeli businesses; we conduct pro-bono consulting for Israeli businesses; and some members travel to Israel for meetings with business leaders and an internship experience. Beyond that, we develop real connections with each other and a sense of community and camaraderie with fellow members. As I became more involved with the organization, after I was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness two members of the national staff took time out of their day to visit me in the hospital—something I will never forget.
Now as a sophomore I successfully fielded an investment from the TAMID fund based on a pitch I was a part of as a freshman. I also had the chance to present deliverables to one of the most prestigious Israeli search funds, collaborate with enterprise solutions companies to find ways to improve the entire organization, and currently oversee TAMID’s five chapters in the D.C. region (Maryland, American University, George Washington University, Duke, and Johns Hopkins). Chapter leaders approach me for guidance on everything from best practices to creating internal cohesion, all by my first semester of sophomore year.
There’s a tangible benefit that nearly all of us in TAMID look for, and my experience is indicative of the results of TAMID engagement. Although just a sophomore, recruiters actively reach out to me from consulting companies around the country. So when people ask me about my involvement with TAMID and ask “how much do you get paid?” or “why would you do all of this for free?” to me the answers are obvious. It’s about the connections built, the companies advised, and the community of supportive, sharp-minded people that constantly surround me. I am so fulfilled by the work I do here that I would continue to do it for free after I graduate; however, the opportunities and doors opened by being a part of this organization are going to be invaluable in my professional career.
Finally, TAMID offers opportunities to engage with and experience Israel in ways that are unique and previously unknown to many. I am not Jewish. My views and perceptions of Israel largely were formed from stories and images on the news. TAMID offers a new way of seeing the country. I understand Israel now as a country whose business sector in many ways is doing bigger and better things than Silicon Valley startups. That’s exciting, and it’s exciting to be a part of it even if just in a small way. TAMID is a way of life for some college students. As we look to expand chapters, I want to continue growing the intellect of the organization and the opportunities we can create for other students.
Alex Danley is a sophomore at The George Washington University pursuing degrees in finance and english. Alex serves as the D.C. regional director for TAMID, vice President of education for TAMID at GW, and as an adviser to the National Business Intelligence Committee where he specializes in big data and process improvement.