Blog

Lessons From WIX: Remaining Engaged

  |   Fellowship

6eda873a-937f-4e17-8659-cf66285a7987

By: Ben Dayanim, Summer Fellow, University of Maryland

Last week, all three cohorts gathered on the rooftop of WIX. For those of you who don’t know, WIX is a cloud-based web development platform and among the Startup Nation’s top success stories. It’s cool. We had the pleasure of hearing from David Broder, a senior marketing executive at WIX. He spoke about his work with the company over the last six years as it grew from startup to IPO, and gave us a glimpse into WIX’s unique environment, strategies, and long-term aspirations.

After going public in 2013, WIX went against the grain of relocating to Silicon Valley (as is the trend among Israeli startups) and anchored its headquarters here in Tel-Aviv. In a sense, WIX serves as an example of the potential Israel has not only to produce successful ventures (that’s pretty damn clear), but toretain them as well.

During David’s talk, something clicked. We come to Israel, relax on the beach, attend killer events, and meet spectacular people — future colleagues, business partners, employers, lasting friends, the list goes on — but what I and many Fellows often forget is why we’re here to begin with.

Experiential learning through business in Israel. That’s what we tell students during recruitment every fall — that’s our motto — and I think it’s important to take a break from absorbing all that this city and this country have to offer and ask ourselves what that motto really means to each of us. Is the TAMID Fellowship just a free trip to Israel and a guaranteed internship, or is it something more than that — something deeper? What did we experience here, and what did we learn? What makes this country tick, and why is WIX still here? We are a part of that.

As TAMID Fellows, it is our responsibility to further our relationships with the Israeli economy.  Though the 2016 Fellowship has undoubtedly been an unparalleled experience for each of us, our time here was not merely about making friends and having a good time. It was about forging a bond with Israel and striving to make a profound impact.

It’s easy to take what we have for granted and move on with nothing more than fond memories and some padding on our resumes, but let’s follow in WIX’s footsteps and remain engaged. I challenge every TAMID Fellow to consider what you learned this summer — who you met, what you saw, and how your experiences here in Israel have shaped you and will impact your future. Think deeply. Don’t forget it.