Challenging the Status Quo on Global MBAs
As a young person with diplomas in their Zoom background, I am often asked where I went to school and what I studied. When I tell people that I went to Tel Aviv University for my MBA, I am typically assumed to have religious ties to Israel. Given the traditional and conventionally-ranked institutions that I had previously attended, some assume that I wanted to go on an exchange program or even that I did not make the cut elsewhere.
On the contrary.
I have no heritage in Israel and made a very intentional choice to pursue a business degree at TAU as my #1 choice for further studies. I believed that it was the most entrepreneurial place to learn about business in ambiguous environments. Having graduated in 2020, I still hold this belief.
I often read of TAU in the news as a school within the top echelon of innovative and entrepreneur-aspiring students. Right in the middle of the pack, as the only non-American school, my alma mater is consistently in the top bracket for alumni leading scale-up companies.
But as I said, I did not pack my bags from a happy and fortunate Canadian life to be among the best schools. I moved myself to a small, antiquated Mediterranean apartment in Tel Aviv for a year to be at the best school for my aspirations.
When I started getting to know my colleagues, who comprised my 30-odd person MBA class, I heard very similar stories to that of my own. Many of my peers had declined offers from the business schools that flank and supersede TAU in the rankings. Others saw the program as a way to boost their ideation-based commercial acumen before starting a new venture. We all shared an itch—the dislike of a certain status quo that the masses ignored as impossible to fix—and a persistent inkling to address it.
MBA students and alumni celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Sofaer Global MBA program in 2020. (Mitch's left in the top row)
In addition to what my peers brought to the table, the ecosystem in Israel is unmatched. One morning, we could talk growth strategy with the CEO of a freshly minted unicorn (a startup company valued at over $1 billion). That afternoon, we could round-table the evolution from developing to developed nation with the people who shepherded this transition in Israel. The next morning, we could experience protests on fundamental political issues foreign to the privileged expatriate, and then interact with socially conscious venture capitalists investing in frontier technology to incentivize coexistence in the afternoon. These adventures in learning, all while being educated on the fundamentals of business from professors who were once operational as founders or leaders themselves, were the norm.
Israel is a dynamic place that is not for the faint of heart. So is entrepreneurship. The people who subject themselves to the lifestyle associated with solving big problems are fast, risk-taking, bold and non-denominational. So are the people at TAU.
A student at TAU’s MBA program will receive a shiny diploma and a great network of high-growth people. But so will every other graduate of top-tier MBA schools around the world. Students at TAU, and the donors who graciously invest in their learning, are buying exposure to ideas at the frontier of meaningful change. They are also buying the opportunity to apply TAU’s lessons to ideas of their own in an area of the world that is challenging, fearless, audacious and pioneering.
If you are an impact enthusiast, look into TAU’s MBA program. No matter how you want to manifest your entrepreneurship—at work, in a new venture, a non-profit organization or otherwise—I promise it is worth your time to do some due diligence on TAU.
Author Mitch Kurylowicz completed the Sofaer Global MBA Program at TAU’s Coller School of Management in 2020. He took part in TAU's All-Access mission and is the founder of Make Luck History, a consulting group that specializes in creating unique solutions of positive impact for the business world .