Israeli business schools already have strong international programs – at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzylia or at Tel Aviv University – where attractive MBA programs for foreign and local students are offered. But some Israeli students are looking elsewhere for opportunities, and America’s top business schools are welcoming them with open arms.

This year, a record number of American business school representatives will take part in the 4th Annual MBA fair in Tel Aviv, hoping to court and lure Israeli students into their competitive programs. Among the schools are Wharton, Harvard, Chicago, Columbia, and Kellogg.

“Israeli students are seen, heard and active on campus,” says Arona Maskil, director of educational counseling services at the United States-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF), the same organization that helps choose and award Fulbright Scholarships.

Israelis boost school’s rating

The USIEF works to foster strong educational ties between Israel and America, and one way they do that is by offering counseling and assistance to Israelis looking to study in the US. On Thursday and Friday this week, representatives from leading MBA programs in the US will be on hand for would-be students to learn the ins and outs for applying to US schools.

Of the 17 prestigious American business schools, eight are sending US admissions officers to Israel, while the others will be represented by alumni. Over 400 students are expected to attend the fair.

Among the officials addressing the fair will be US Ambassador-designate to Israel James Cunningham who will deliver welcoming remarks. Panel discussions will include talks on the difference between East Coast and West Coast business schools, as well as two specialist panels – on biotech and women in the workforce – moderated by experts.

Those attending will also learn about summer internships in the US, career opportunities, the GMAT and more, when they meet with official representatives of each program, USIEF staff and representatives from the Princeton Review.

American business schools are interested in recruiting Israeli students because they are good students who can increase a university’s international standing – one index the ratings go by is the percentage of job placements in professional positions after earning the MBA degree.

The smallest with the highest

Israelis boost the ranking because they are easy to place after they graduate, Maskil tells ISRAEL21c. This is due, in part, to Israelis having some experience in the working world before starting their MBA.

Out of all the Middle East countries, Israel – though the smallest – has the highest number of students placed in American universities. There are more than 3,200 enrolled in academic degrees, including undergraduate and medical school programs, and among them 150 students in MBA programs.

On campus, they are often the ones organizing events and clubs, and business schools like that sort of initiative, says Maskil. But the experience is also very good for the Israeli businessperson, she says. “Most of them stay for two to three years after the degree. Going there gives them an edge for being placed in international companies… after an average of three years in the US, they come back.”


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