Why did you choose to study at the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management?
The Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management offers students a unique multidisciplinary experience. It spans a number of fields, including data science, behavioral science and management, statistics, optimization, information systems, and more. Collaborations between these fields provide a fertile ground for groundbreaking research combining different knowledge areas. Integration between disciplines is the key to innovation, and our faculty is a place where this integration happens in practice.
What program are you studying in, and what are its advantages?
I am studying in the behavioral science and management program, which contains three tracks: (1) organizational behavior; (2) cognition and user experience; and (3) marketing and consumer behavior.
I think that the program is successful because of the range of different content to which students are exposed throughout their degree studies. The program is extremely versatile, so that anyone who has begun learning in a particular track is able to switch to another track during their studies, or to change supervisors. The important thing is to find a subject that interests you to work on as a research student. From that point on, all options are open.
What tools have you acquired?
We received extremely strong theoretical and methodological tools as early as the first year of study. These programming and analytical methods still serve us now (both in academia and in industry), and definitely give us an advantage over graduates of similar tracks in other universities. In addition to theoretical and methodological content, we were also given practical tools via applied courses and external internships.
Tell us a little about the teaching and research infrastructure—of the Technion as a whole, not just the faculty.
Research students at the Technion are given a real opportunity to enter the world of research and examine the option of pursuing an academic career. In most cases, research students receive a scholarship from the Technion which enables them not to have to work outside of academia and to devote themselves fully to research. In addition, there are also plenty of teaching assistant opportunities and other mentorship opportunities, such as supporting teams of research assistants, helping students with final projects, and so on. As someone who has experienced this myself, I can say that the Technion is very similar to other research universities around the world, in which students in advanced degree programs are very much involved in research and teaching.
What can you tell us about the faculty in terms of academic support for students, teaching, supervision, research, and individual attention?
Our faculty enjoys excellent relations between faculty members and students. Students are given a significant role and their voice is heard; they take part in faculty and research activities, help organize conferences and open days, and more. As an example of the high standard of these relations, the dean and the head of the administration invite student representatives to regular meetings at which they consult with us on processes and decisions, and are interested to hear about what we would like to change or advance. Students are welcomed as full partners, which creates a meaningful connection between students and faculty, and vice versa.
What is the social life like in the faculty?
Students in our faculty enjoy a wonderful social life. Beyond the fact that we are all good friends, we organize evening events to mark the beginning and the end of the academic year, including all kinds of activities such as bowling, karaoke, pizza evenings, and so on. In addition, the faculty has recently opened dedicated and well-equipped spaces in which students can hold meetings, rest, eat, or just change their work environment.
Can you share a particular good memory from your studies?
My research examines teams of entrepreneurs, and my research team and I are attempting to predict the success of entrepreneurs during the early stages of their enterprises. I remember an incident in which we planned a large data collection activity for one of our projects, and we were looking for frameworks with which we could collaborate. In an attempt to involve the advanced technology entrepreneurship that exists at the Technion, I got in touch with the organizers of hackathons in several different faculties, including medicine, computer science, and architecture. All of the organizers I contacted (most of them undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral students) responded enthusiastically and were happy to collaborate. Thanks to their support, we were able to recruit a large sample of teams of entrepreneurs from a diverse set of professional fields. This example is a good demonstration of the special combinations that are forged at the Technion, and of the willingness to work together. This environment facilitates positive synergies, in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
What are you doing now, or what are your career plans after you finish your studies?
I am currently studying toward a doctorate at the faculty, and afterward I plan to enter a post-doctoral program elsewhere.
Tell us a little about the extra-curricular activities.
During my studies, I took part in many extra-curricular activities. Among other things, I participated in a delegation with the dean of students, in which I spent several weeks in the United States meeting with various figures and institutions and working to secure their support for the Technion. I am a member of staff at the Technion Knowledge Center for Innovation, where we transfer knowledge from academia to industry in order to foster innovation processes that span multiple organizations and industries, and a member of the research team at the Bronica Entrepreneurship Center, where we gather information about various entrepreneurial activities (such as the BizTech entrepreneurship program) in order to predict entrepreneurial performance. I am also one of the student representatives for the field of behavioral science and management and for advanced degrees in industry and management.
Finally, one of the activities I have participated in recently was initiating and organizing the inaugural TEDx Technion. The original idea came from Daniel Altman (another doctoral student) and myself, based on which we developed an entire event with the full backing of the faculty, including people who volunteered their time (both faculty members and students), full budgetary support, engaging external suppliers, and the entire logistical operation. The event was a huge success, and is an excellent example of how faculty members and students work together to launch new initiatives and make things happen.
If you had to choose again whether to study at the faculty, would you make the same decision today?