Back to School with Israel Business Pipeline: Claudia Gabison

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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. 

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Claudia Gabison is a Chinese, French and Jewish second-year student at Northwestern University studying manufacturing and design engineering, computer science and entrepreneurship. She can be found practicing with the club tennis team or club ski team or working with water-jets, 3D printers and lathes, and is very active in the Jewish and international community on campus. She enjoys sharing her love for Israel and her own cultures wherever she goes. Recently, Claudia participated in the TAMID fellowship, living and working in Israel over the summer. She reflects on her experience below.

I am half Chinese, half French, and Jewish. As I was growing up in Hong Kong, my father would tell me how Israel is the most innovative country in the world, with many exciting technological and scientific advances. But my connection to Israel was never tangible. Israel was just a dream, a place filled with startups, cutting-edge technology and things that fascinated me.

I am currently a student at Northwestern University. Last year when I was a first-year-student, I went to the Hillel club fair and saw a sign that read "TAMID." I was curious and talked to the current members and could not believe an organization like TAMID existed. TAMID connects business-minded students to entrepreneurship opportunities i Israel. There are TAMID chapters at universities all across the United States. Because it is apolitical and areligious, TAMID is open to everyone.

TAMID uses businesses and startups as a bridge to connect students like me with Israel. I began my involvement with TAMID with a semester-long practical and experiential education program at Northwestern that taught me more about doing business in an Israeli context. I then chose to join both the investment and technology tracks, part of a new offering launched at Northwestern.

One of TAMID’s flagship programs is the TAMID Fellowship. Through the fellowship, members can travel to Israel, intern at a company and live in Tel Aviv for two months. Students can intern at venture capital firms, accelerators, consulting firms, app companies and more. At Northwestern, I am studying manufacturing and design engineering, computer science and entrepreneurship. Becuase of that, and my interest in chemistry, I was matched to work at MemTech, a startup that develops water filtration membranes.

MemTech is a startup with only four people working in the lab, which means I got to do hands-on work alongside lab technicians and Ph.D. researchers. I created the filtration membranes and developed high-tech solutions for water problems around the world.

MemTech works with companies in China, France and Mexico. I speak both Chinese and French, so I help with communication across these companies. I even translated a one and a half hour Skype conference call from Chinese to English, on the spot. I find it remarkable that with just one year of university education, I could be an essential part of a startup that is working on something that will improve the lives of millions of people.

It has been a tremendous honor to serve TAMID in Israel this summer. I am humbled to be part of such an energetic and talented team with a vision to connect with the Israeli economy. My two months of working with TAMID may be over, but the experiences I’ve gained and the memories I’ve made in Israel will remain with me forever.

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.