Back to School with Israel Business Pipeline: Neha Bansal

  • Team Schusterman

August 29, 2017

This story comes to us from The Israel Business Pipeline, a collective of organizations that builds a global network of pro-Israel business leaders working in positions of influence. Pipeline organizations target highly skilled, passionate and career-ready young people who share a passion for Israel and Israeli innovation. 

Neha Bansal is a management consultant with 6+ years of experience in the Financial Services Industry. Neha focuses on data analytics, product development and business development. She has worked globally for clients in the U.S., South Africa, China, the U.K. and India. She holds a B.A. in Economics and Statistics and an MBA from Columbia Business School. This past summer, Neha lived in Israel while interning through InsideIL. She reflects on her experience below.

My name is Neha Bansal. I am an MBA candidate at Columbia University in New York City and also a proud intern in the InsideIL program. I am originally from India and I did my undergrad in economics and statistics.

After undergrad, I started working in a management consulting firm focused on financial services. I worked for 6 years and then decided to pursue my MBA in New York. While living in New York, I started to interact more and more with Israeli companies such as Via and Waze. This made my thoughts turn towards Israel. Someone then recommended that I read Startup Nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer. While reading the book, I was completely blown away by the high-tech revolution going on in Israel.

I started looking for opportunities that would allow me to experience this revolution in person. That’s when I came across InsideIL through my college’s job portal and spoke with Abbey, the InsideIL Program Coordinator. Having done analytics before, I found a very exciting company called Weissbeeeger that focuses on beverage analytics. They place IOT sensors on beer taps at breweries, then capture end-user consumption data and provide interesting insights to bar owners and breweries.

I received an internship offer and moved to Israel for 2 months! The move was seamless, thanks to Abbey facilitating the visa and housing process. Overall, my summer experience was amazing because of 3 reasons:

1. Defining personal risk

I am a very risk-averse person. Being with entrepreneurs and coworkers (most of whom were ex-military) whose definition of risk was far broader than mine allowed me to change my perspective. It pushed me to redefine what risk actually meant to me.

2. Work-life balance

People in Israel appreciate having a balanced life, evident from practices like Shabbat when the whole country takes its weekend off! During my two months in Israel, I worked out almost every day, ate healthy food and spent time with friends (even during the week). All of these are things I never did while I had my consulting job.

3. Creating opportunities

This experience has opened a whole range of career opportunities for me. I can now look at roles beyond finance and consulting, like product management. This is extremely empowering for MBA students who are looking for fulfilling career opportunities post-MBA.

Needless to say, this experience wouldn’t have been as fulfilling without my InsideIL friends. This year, we were 27 interns representing ~10 countries. We bonded well as we traveled together during weekends: exploring the restaurants, the beaches and, of course, the hummus. It was a fabulous experience! Living and working in Israel has been an amazing experience and we all look forward to being involved in any Israel-focused activities soon!

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or all program participants.