This is a guest post by Michael Lowinger
When I graduated college last May, I had no idea where my life was headed. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to work outside of New York or Connecticut, let alone a different country. Yet, 3 months later I found myself on a plane halfway across the world to Israel. I had no knowledge of the working environment in Israel or what I would learn in my internship abroad.
Everyone here could tell I was as lost as I felt when I arrived on my first day at Rounds wearing a shirt and tie. For those of you who don’t know, Israeli’s are extremely casual with what they wear to work, with jeans and a t-shirt being the norm. It took me awhile to get used to this atmosphere, and I proceeded to wear slacks and a button down shirt every day, except for Thursday, which I designated my “casual Friday”.
Another cultural shock in the workplace here is how friendly everyone is. I was so used to the competitive American working environment where deadlines are the only thing that should be on an employee’s mind. In Israel, your company becomes your family, and I could not have asked for a better family than I found at Rounds. They took me in and were constantly making sure I had everything I needed. This couldn’t have been more appreciated when I fell ill and was hospitalized for 10 days. During my hospital stay, Natasha, my boss, came to visit me and brought me a large container of Max Brenner chocolate from the Rounds team that took two weeks to finish.
Beyond the hospitality, I gained knowledge of the future of entertainment and social networking, and the fields behind it. When I started at Rounds, I knew nothing about broadcasters or telecoms, and very little of the capabilities and backgrounds of social applications. I was taught about all of this and how to effectively market a product with no budget and no additional development. The experience imparted on me the challenges of marketing a start-up, but Rounds gave me the freedom and trust to offer them my solutions. The amount of trust that they placed in me is something that I couldn’t have imagined and certainly would not have been given by an American company as an intern.
I am so thankful that I made the decision to choose Rounds, and for Rounds allowing me to be a part of their team. It was an unforgettable experience that will be the foundation to my career path, which was exactly what I was looking for when I boarded the plane here 5 months ago.