Michigan State University
Michigan State University
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Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Department of Writing
Rhetoric & American Cultures

Israel’s High-Tech Industry Offers Valuable Opportunities for PW Majors

WRAC Assistant Professor Steven Fraiberg pulls up a photo on his computer. It’s of a man on a beach in Tel Aviv, Israel. He’s jumping in the air, upside down, and he seems to be going in two different directions. “This is the idea of the Israeli mentality,” says Fraiberg. “Israelis are based on the notion of improvisation and sort of flipping things on its head. The same qualities that were bound up in the founding of the state are the very same qualities that are bound up in the founding of a startup.”

Over the summer, Fraiberg traveled to Israel with Neil Kane, MSU’s Director of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship. The two were searching for internships and study abroad opportunities in the Israeli high-tech industry. “There are more startups in Israel than anywhere else in the world, besides the US and China,” says Fraiberg. “In the startup genome ecosystem ranking, Tel Aviv was ranked actually 6th in the world and Jerusalem was ranked 28th.”

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Some call Israel the “Startup Nation.” Others call it the “Silicon Valley of the Middle East.” No matter the label, it’s evident that places such as Tel Aviv encourage innovation and creativity. The upside-down man in the photo is a great representation of how Tel Aviv and its high-tech industry came to be. Fraiberg explains how Israelis didn’t build a state like this by following strict rules or conventions. “[From an Israeli perspective], they are all about breaking those lines,” he says. “And entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity is about breaking those lines.

The value of creativity and innovation in Tel Aviv makes it a city of opportunity for PW majors in particular. There are countless startups that offer internships in writing, social media, digital marketing, project management, user experience, web design, content creation, and more. Fraiberg emphasizes that not only are PW majors able to bring their skills in these areas, but they also have something even more valuable: their English and knowledge about the American market.

Israel’s overall workplace environment is also unique. Fraiberg explained that you’ll find many open workspaces and flatter hierarchies, which provide more opportunity for networking. This is especially vital for PW students. When professional writers make meaningful connections, this helps to build their platform. Along with having these collaborative workspaces, Tel Aviv also hosts events almost every night designed to help strengthen your network and meet fellow writers and entrepreneurs, such as mixers, workshops, and forums.

In addition to internship and networking opportunities, Fraiberg notes that students who travel to Israel have the chance to gain an entirely new global perspective connected to history and culture. These broader experiences ultimately result in a complex blend of both professional and cultural knowledge.

Currently, Fraiberg is working with Kane to organize various programs that will make these opportunities more available to students. For PW majors interested in study abroad or an internship in Israel, Fraiberg encourages meeting with him one-on-one. “I want to learn more about your specific interest, areas. Let’s find you a program, a way to get funding, let’s find you a way to get an internship.”

To schedule a meeting with Professor Fraiberg, you can contact him by email at sfraibe2@gmail.com. And for more information about MSU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, visit www.entrepreneurship.msu.edu.

Written by Reyna Hurand