Two weeks in Israel for the Global Immersion Experience | Photo essay by UBC MBA student Hai Ha
After a long, 24-hour flight, my classmates and I finally arrived in Tel Aviv and were greeted by an awe-inspiring sunset at Bograshov Beach, located just a five-minute walk away from our boutique hotel. The stunning scenery and calming atmosphere were the perfect welcome to our Tel Aviv adventure.
We attended lectures on Israeli culture and innovation at the Coller School of Management at Tel Aviv University. The campus was beautiful, with open green spaces drenched in sunshine and adorned with captivating statues like the impressive ‘Cyber Horse’ made entirely of recycled computer and cell phone components. I also enjoyed touring the many museums on campus, including the Museum of the Jewish People.
The business school was the perfect setting to start work on our consulting project. Our clients were two passionate Israeli entrepreneurs at the early stage of launching their start-up that offers an AI-powered software solution to revolutionize manufacturing automation.
My team and I took on the exciting challenge of developing a go-to-market strategy, specifically examining if SaaS (Software as a Service) model works as an effective sales channel to help them scale.
My love affair with Israeli cuisine started with a cooking class on the first day of our formal program. We each got to make our own dishes in a beautiful restaurant while sipping wine. After two hours of cooking, I proudly presented my falafels. From that moment on, I was hooked on this delicious Mediterranean cuisine. I lost count of how many falafels I ate during these two weeks!
As I strolled along the beach near our hotel, I stumbled upon the charming Old Jaffa, nestled on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The ancient rock walls, winding streets, and the glistening sun made me feel as though I had stepped back in time!
The ‘Dream Big’ sign in front of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation symbolizes late president Shimon Peres’ devotion to promoting Israel’s advances in technology and science. Inside, visitors can discover the captivating stories of numerous Israeli innovators. In awe of what I was learning, I kept saying to my classmates, “Did you know that…?”
During our weekend break, I took the opportunity to explore more of Israel and headed to Caesarea – an ancient and medieval port city on the coast of the Eastern Mediterranean. I visited the Caesarea Amphitheatre and couldn't help but imagine myself enjoying gladiator fights while seated next to fellow spectators like Herod the Great.
One of the most memorable cultural tours we embarked on was the trip to Jerusalem. We visited Dormition Abbey Church, one of the most famous churches in the city, situated on Mount Zion, just a short walk from Zion Gate.