In the Fall of 2012, a group of USC business and engineering students started a chapter of Tamid at the university. Tamid is a nation-wide student organization that fosters business relationships between Israeli companies and American students. Essentially, American college students, free of charge, consult for Israeli start-ups, which use the free aid of American students to boost their growth and profits. Tamid students also learn and practice investing techniques, working as a group to play the stock market and other investments to gain money for the chapter to reinvest. Across the country, from Cal to Penn, American university students learn and enhance their consulting and business experiences through Tamid and the organization’s connections to Israeli start-ups.
During this semester, the fall of 2013, I joined Tamid. Tamid provided me with the unique opportunity to use my engineering skills in a business setting as a technical consultant. Furthermore, I could learn and develop business skills, abilities primarily taught in USC’s Marshall School of Business, not in Viterbi. Being a student at USC, I really pride myself on doing things outside of my academic comfort zone, and Tamid has allowed me to get outside of that comfort zone. Instead of solving statics problems, I am determining if a company would benefit from targeting a certain demographic in an advertising company or analyzing a stock to see if it is over or under valued. Through Tamid, I have enjoyed exercising my non-technical strengths, such as my ability to people and project manage.
This semester, I am co-leading a team consulting with an Israeli private space company, the start-up SpaceIl. Formed in 2010, SpaceIl is a not-for-profit company operating in Tel Aviv with less than 20 employees. SpaceIl’s goal is to promote a greater emphasis on mathematics and science in Israel’s education system by inspiring both students and faculty through their work. How does SpaceIl plan to do this? The company wants to win the Google’s Lunar X Prize competition.
Now, this is where Tamid and I come into play. Our objective is to support SpaceIl and help them win the $20 million dollar grand prize awarded to the first team to land a rover on the moon and have it travel at least 500 meters on the moon’s surface. Currently, SpaceIl is in the testing stages of their rocket and rover and should be ready to launch by late 2015. For the time being, SpaceIl would like us to keep close tabs on their competitors and determine which companies have a realistic shot at beating them for the Google Lunar X Prize. Through legal means, my consulting team will gather business intelligence (BI) on SpaceIl’s competitors. By looking at each company’s reported finances and engineering goals, my Tamid team will be able to create a “seriousness rating” under which each competitor is judged, allowing SpaceIl to gauge its competition and instigate internal company change, if necessary, to match their competition.
Aside from giving me great experience in the consulting, Tamid gives me a connection to Israel and its people. As a practicing Jew, I love having the opportunity to support Israel, and, by consulting for SpaceIl, I feel that I am giving back to the homeland of the Jewish faith. If this consulting project goes well, I may even travel to Tel Aviv and work at SpaceIl over the summer. Overall, my motivation to join Tamid is both religion-based and engineering-driven, which makes Tamid an amazing organization to work with and be a part of.