Maor Cohen, 28, Be’er Sheva
Maor was injured during his service in the Israeli Defense Forces and has been disabled ever since. He successfully completed his studies in electrical engineering from the Technological College of Be’er Sheva as an honors student, but he was worried that, because of his injury, he wouldn’t find a job. He also had a large gap in his employment history after the army from when he was unable to work.
The dean of the college encouraged him to apply for the Lauder Internship Program. This was when things began to change for Maor. He was placed in the robotics and drone tech company, RobotiKan. He also began working on building his resume and interview skills, among others, during the program’s workshops and one-on-one guidance sessions. At the end of his internship, what he calls, “a two-month long job interview,” he was offered a full-time job at RobotiCan. A year later, and he is still over the moon: “Every morning, I drum on my steering wheel while I drive to work, and I sing. It doesn’t matter what hour I have to arrive – I wake up every day with a smile on my face. I am so thankful for this program that gave me tools and a way to go forward in my career.”
Alexandra Rokach, 27, Arad
I’ve always loved computers, and my dream was to work in high-tech. But because I’m a mother to a young child and I live in the Negev, and because most of the intern programs for far away and expensive for me, I figured that I didn’t have any way of realizing my dream. Instead of working in my dream job, I was working as a customer service rep for a telephone company. Then, one day, I heard about the CCNA course offered through the LEC in NetGev Dimona, and I immediately signed up. It was a difficult course, seven long and intensive months. But I loved what I was learning, and finally, I could see my professional aspirations on the horizon.
At the end of the course, I was so proud. I brought my daughter with me (to the ending event) so that she could see that it is possible to realize your dreams. I want her to grow up with the notion that every career is possible and isn’t limited by where you live.
I found a job as a network administrator at Soroka hospital in Be’er Sheva. I knew that this would give me a great first-job experience in my new field, and I learned so much there. After two years, I made the jump to high-tech, and I became even happier. With the help of the LEC and JNF-USA, the partners who make these programs possible, I succeeded in achieving my dream.
Today, I can confidently say: there are lots of opportunities in the Negev – you just need to find them!
Poli Gupailo, 30, Be’er Sheva
Poli made aliyah from Uzbekistan to Be’er Sheva. She studied new media and digital design at the Technological College of Be’er Sheva, and she was a part of the first LEC Internship Program cohort. She completed her internship at a Negev design and advertising studio, where she still works today. She helped the company grow to over 150 employees with two locations in Israel, and she is the manager of their Be’er Sheva design studio.
After her internship and a year of working in the field, Poli became a mentor for an intern from the second cohort of the LEC internship program. Poli’s intern is a successful freelancer in the field of digital design, thus demonstrating the powerful chain of support and professional development that this program provides. “I am so fortunate to have participated in this program,” Poli told us, “and I hope that many more Negev graduates have the same chance as I did! This program helped me so much professionally and personally, and for that, I am very thankful.”