So much more than a school trip.
In a business world defined by dynamism, and an ever-changing landscape, it is important to go beyond the class-room. The Ivey Israel Business Course, now it its 11th year, does just that- you will experience first-hand, a whole new world of innovation, business development, and corporate leadership, all wrapped up in a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Don't take our word for it, take theirs...
Tom Grainger, HBA ’17
Canada’s memory is short, but Israel’s is long. Here, history permeates everything. The politics, the architecture, and the fire in the blood of a 20-year-old Yuri who would take death over surrender. Understanding how history plays a role in Israeli culture allows me to better understand the country and the narratives that surround it. It has broadened my perspective of the world we inhabit. In a land as old as Israel, the answers to many questions lie back countless generations.
Now, we’re on a beach. Floating through the air are sounds of laughter. People are smiling and smearing themselves with mud – flying high at the lowest place on earth. I wade through the water, across the crystalline ground, until I’m knee deep in the Dead Sea....My encounter with the Dead Sea serves as a metaphor for anyone visiting Israel for the first time. The very idea is nerve-wracking. There’s an undeniable element of danger. People who’ve been insist it’s amazing, but it’s hard to believe. A sliver of land in the Middle East being a hub for innovation and a historical treasure amid? Yeah, right. But, ultimately, you take the plunge and you’re immediately inundated with contradictions. Ultra-Orthodox braids bob in passionate prayer meters from a contingent of soldiers with submachine guns at the Western Wall. An ancient stone city is bisected by the most technologically advanced border fence on the planet. In the arid, sandy expanse of the Arava desert, the fields of five hundred farms feed a country and the world. At first, it’s disorienting. But like the discomfort of the Dead Sea, that’s quickly overcome and you’re left to marvel at the wonders that surround you. It’s a place that is unique on this planet. It’s an experience that is uniquely Israel."
Connor Boyce, HBA ’15
The Ivey Israel Business Course was a fantastic learning opportunity. My greatest takeaway from the course was learning about the Israeli business mentality. We met many entrepreneurs that persevered against heavy odds to become successful. These businesspeople were not afraid to fail and were able to move on to another venture if they did. Compared to Canada, where we struggle with creating startups, Israel has succeeded in building a strong and dynamic startup ecosystem. As business students, meeting people involved in this environment was a powerful motivator for starting our own companies in Canada. The course gave us the tools to help improve the Canadian startup ecosystem.
I was also inspired by Israelis’ view on life. My impression was that Israelis, broadly speaking, derived their satisfaction from doing what they enjoyed, regardless of whether it would make them wealthy. These individuals also seemed to find satisfaction in the path to their goals, rather than solely in the goals themselves. The Israelis also didn’t put off the things that they wanted to do. They built the life they wanted to live. This trip made me reflect on the decisions I’ve made so far in my career and on the type of career path I hope to take. Going forward, I want to continue to be honest with myself when thinking about what I want out of life. I hope that as I progress through my career, I will take time to think about whether what I’m doing actually satisfies me.