Sofaer International MBA, Tel Aviv
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Sofaer International MBA, Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv University’s Recanati School of Business has been preparing its students for leading roles in various sectors of the Israeli and international economy for over 40 years and is home of the highly regarded Sofaer International MBA.

The only Israeli academic institution to be awarded the international accreditation of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Recanati continues to expand its global reach through international academic degree programs, executive training forums, and a variety of international study and academic exchange programs.  The school’s breadth of activity and reputation for excellence continues to make Recanati School of Business graduates the most sought after by Israeli employers.

Despite having a population of just over 7 million, Israel is a powerful player in the global economy.  The country currently has more companies listed on NASDAQ than any other country outside the USA or China. Per-capita, Israel produces more start-up companies than China, India, Canada, Japan and the UK and has attracted twice as much venture-capital investment as the United States and 30 times more than Europe.

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Pic: Tel Aviv University.

Via academic courses, company tours, mentoring guidance, internships, international case competitions, conferences, project work, lecture series and one-on-one networking, the Sofaer International MBA offers the opportunity to engage with and learn from Israel’s innovative and faced-paced business culture while partaking in a truly international MBA experience.

Located in Tel Aviv, the cultural and economic heart of Israel, the Sofaer International MBA is an intensive one-year program designed for driven and diverse students looking for a dynamic and faced-paced international MBA experience.

Who Studies at Sofaer?
Diversity is viewed as a fundamental asset to the program, and Sofaer students are as diverse professionally as they are geographically. The Sofaer Class of 2011 was comprised of 45 students representing 18 different countries, 68% of whom were international students. Additionally, the program strives to maintain a 50/50 ratio of women and men in each class.  Most Sofaer students begin their MBA studies after 4 years of work experience. Many speak more than one language and have lived and/or worked in more than one country.

Academic Curriculum
The Sofaer International MBA combines a rigorous academic curriculum containing a wide range of elective-course offerings with networking-orientated experiences and professional development activities. First, students are primed for the year ahead with Sofaer’s Summer Boot Camp, which includes three courses – Statistics, Finance with Excel, and Algebra and Calculus – and is compulsory for all new students.

The academic curriculum itself consists of five modules, combining a core curriculum of compulsory courses and a variety of elective course options. The core curriculum consists of the building blocks of any top-class MBA program, including economics, finance, marketing, management, ethics, and accounting. The elective courses allow students to pursue their interests in specialized areas, such as business and the environment, entrepreneurship, finance, and management.

Parallel to the program’s academic studies and unique to the Sofaer program is the multifaceted Career Management curriculum. This curriculum consists of workshops, soft-skill development sessions, monthly company visits, guest lectures, interest group activities and many networking opportunities.

Additionally, the Sofaer program offers a semester exchange option with one of over 60 partner-schools worldwide and an international trip to either China or India. International MBA students have the opportunity to study and network at some of the world’s top business schools, including University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Bocconi University, ESADE, National University of Singapore, Peking University, and University of Melbourne.

Career Services
Due to the compact time-frame and intensive course load of the Sofaer year, the program has created an integrated and reinforcing Career Management curriculum that is designed to:

1)    Help students identify and articulate their career objectives

2)    Equip students with the soft-skills and confidence needed to build their contact base and optimize professional networking and job placement opportunities

3)    Connect students with business professionals relevant to their professional future

These objects are achieved through a mandatory two-credit course comprised of workshops, company visits, guest lectures, career coaching, mentoring, and one-on-one sessions with a career advisor.  Emphasis is placed on action learning via personal interaction with skill-building professionals and a variety of individuals from various business industries.  Students also have the opportunity to take on an internship to further broaden their professional network and background, experience new industries first-hand, and further build their resume.  All of the above is facilitated by a dedicated staff of professionals: career coaches, mentors, professors, a dedicated Career Advisor and an international network of over 20,000 Recanati alumni worldwide.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNqM7TjnV3M

Campus Life
Tel Aviv University, also affectionately known as TAU,  is minutes away from downtown Tel Aviv – Israel’s most dynamic and multicultural city.  The University’s campus resides on a spacious 220 acres and boasts over 29,000 students, 125 departments, 27 schools, 9 faculties, and more than 132 research centers and institutes.

The 2010/11 academic year saw over 800 international students study at TAU in English language programs ranging from the Sofaer International MBA to the Adler-Buchmann International Program for Outstanding Foreign Music Students, and specialized MA programs in Conflict Resolution and Mediation; Security and Diplomacy; Middle Eastern Studies; Crisis and Trauma Studies; and Teaching English to (Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  This upcoming academic year the university is expanding its international degree offerings to include four new programs: an MA in Jewish Studies; MA in Environmental Studies; MA in Political Science in Action: Leadership, Communication and Elections; and an Executive Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management.

The number one choice for Israeli students (and employers), TAU students can be described as engaged, multi-disciplined, and multitasking citizens!  In addition to academics, work, and life demands, TAU students donate more than 305,290 hours annually to community service.  It is no surprise then that Sofaer students have access to a variety of student services, clubs, activities and organizations while on campus.

In addition to the variety of facilities available to students – such as: The Elite Sports Center, dormitories, libraries, copy centers, museums, health clinics, a bank, a post office, book stores and a variety of cafeterias and cafes, TAU – the Recanati School of Business and the Sofaer International MBA program offer students an assortment of clubs and organizations on campus:

  • StarTau – Tel Aviv University’s Entrepreneurship Center – serves Israel’s aspiring entrepreneurs, specifically focusing on TAU students and alumni.  Established in 2009 this organization offers a variety of workshops, courses, networking opportunities, and lectures for Tel Aviv University students, Israeli aspiring entrepreneurs and the international entrepreneurial community.  Many of StarTau’s activities are run in English.
  • Tel Aviv University’s Student Union offers a variety of courses and activities throughout the year open to international students including the Buddy System, an initiative built for students by students that connects internationals to Israeli students and the city of Tel Aviv.
  • TAU International – the organizational body for Tel Aviv University’s International programs – offers a variety of excursions and workshops culture throughout the year for students studying in TAU’s international programs.
  • Tel Aviv University’s Hillel – The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life – provides a unique vehicle for Jewish experiences, cultural expressions and social change in Israeli society via numerous activities run throughout the year open to Israeli and international students.
  • MIT Enterprise Forum promotes the growth and success of high-tech entrepreneurial ventures by connecting ideas, technology and people via a series of events hosted at the University throughout the year.  Many of these events are run in English.
  • Membership to the international honor society Beta Gamma Sigma
  • Recanati’s Alumni Association hosts a variety of events throughout the year open to both alumni and current students including: Coffee@Recanati – networking meetings and lectures from some of Israel’s top personalities in the management field and The Dual Lectures Series – business-oriented lectures presented by top scholars and a practitioners in the same field.
  • MBA Cares – a unique course offered by the Sofaer International MBA that provides students the opportunity to learn how companies and organizations are approaching Corporate Social Responsibility, social enterprise, and sustainable operations through theoretical foundation and direct project work.
  • Sofaer’s professional mentoring program connecting students with business leaders in their fields of interest, Sofaer students are guided throughout the year by these experienced and well-connected Recanati Alumni.

Living in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is Israel’s most international and dynamic city. Located on the shores of the Mediterranean it combines a beachside lifestyle, great climate, limitless business connections and world-famous nightlife. Lonely Planet calls it “the San Francisco of the Middle East”, ranking it the third best city to visit for 2011. Check out a full photo gallery of what Tel Aviv has to offer here.

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Tel Aviv is Israel's most international and dynamic city. Pic: Tel Aviv University.

While Tel Aviv’s 400,000-odd population may look small on paper, this is a city with a lot going for it. It is the heart of Israel’s economy. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Bauhaus architecture, Tel Aviv epitomizes the youthful and creative spirit of Israel. Urban professionals, start-up entrepreneurs, actors, artists, international business travelers, and students mingle together in the city’s museums, nightlife hot spots, five-star restaurants, fashion boutiques and beautiful beaches.

Tel Aviv’s appeal can be seen in the 3 million tourists who visit the city each year. Outside the obvious attraction of the beach, the city is dotted with lush parks and is home to a thriving arts scene. There’s something for everyone here, whether it is a night at the theatre or a night on the tiles.

Settling in as an International Student
Establishing yourself in a new country and within a foreign economic environment can be a daunting task, but Tel Aviv University and the Sofaer International MBA are committed to supporting and easing your transition.  Before arrival, Sofaer students are provided with a great deal of information about relocating to Tel Aviv.  Sofaer and Recanati staff are available for questions and logistical support concerning such things as health insurance (provided by the program) and student visas.  Additionally, accepted students are connected to their future classmates (about 40% of whom live in Tel Aviv) who love to provide advice and tips about living in Tel Aviv and finding housing. Once in Israel the Sofaer administration is available to help direct students when searching for accommodation, obtaining a bank account and setting up a cell phone plan.  Official orientation to Israel, the University and the Sofaer program begins in Orientation Week – an intensive week of activities and orientation sessions held both on campus and outside of Tel Aviv.

Student Testimonial

Amitava Mittra, Class of 2010
Home country:
India
Before Sofaer:
Engineering major at Pune University; Major in the Indian Army
After Sofaer:
Country Head (Operations) in B.G Ilanit

I came to Sofaer from India after working in the Indian Army for six years specializing both as a combatant and a technical specialist. The force driving me to pursue an MBA was my desire to develop India’s Homeland security industry. The contacts I established in Israel combined with the knowledge gained from my studies have made my dreams become reality. I am now responsible for building an Israeli Defense Technology company’s operations in India.

Terry Wang, Class of 2011
Home country: Taiwan
Before Sofaer: Master of Science from National Chung Hsin University; IT Specialist, IBM
After Sofaer: Marketing Manager, Orbotech

Looking back, I can remember many surprises.  During orientation week I was thrilled to meet my colleagues from 18 different countries around the world.  We chatted in English and I needed to understand all of their different accents!  Starting this week and continuing through the year, we had to work in groups.  We were forced to learn from each other.  Quickly we understood the value in our cultural diversity.  In many ways we represented a miniature Israel: a country whose level of innovation has largely been correlated to its culture of immigration. I am now convinced that the learning in a MBA program does not only come from your lectures, but also from your colleagues.

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