Two University students, Dylan Abrams, junior in ACES, and Lucas Marks, junior in Business, co-founded the TAMID Beta Chapter at Illinois this fall. TAMID is a national professional business organization with 53 chapters across the country.
The organization promotes student experiential learning by working with Israeli start-up companies. Business-minded undergraduate students are able to learn and experience working with consulting projects, analyzing investment funds and having internship opportunities with Israeli companies.
Not only does this organization give students ways to learn through applying their in-class knowledge to real-life business cases, but it also gives students an edge by providing them with a unique, international perspective from the diversity of its members and professional clients.
“We have different friends at Texas that were both involved in TAMID,” Abrams said. “My friend was running the investment fund and Lucas’s friend was the president. We saw how great their mission statement was and how they really wanted to see their students learn and grow. I was shocked when there wasn’t a chapter here so I told Lucas we needed to start a chapter at U of I.”
One of the aspects that makes TAMID unique is its relationships and connections with the Israeli economy.
With Israel having one of the fasting growing technology sectors in the world akin to Silicon Valley, students will gain real-life work experience within the organization by helping and working with various Israeli start-up companies.
“A great motivation for starting the organization is providing pro-bono consulting to Israeli startups and companies,” Marks said. “We are actually helping to grow the Israeli economy indirectly; you can see a company in the future one day and know that our organization impacted it. It really brings people together with very similar interests in a very small subject.”
Because of TAMID’s international presence, it is appealing to students at the University who want to stay in the United States, as well as students who come from abroad or want to go abroad later.
Starting those connections at the university level within TAMID with people who are also from abroad establishes networking connections at an earlier stage.
“It’s important that we expose U of I students to the exponentially growing Israeli economy because of the opportunity that’s currently there,” Abrams said. “You see people moving from all over the world to work there, so it’s important to expose students to an international level and having direct contacts is a great way to do so.”
Students first go through an educational curriculum that teaches either consulting or investment, which gives students the knowledge to make informed decisions. Within the educational portion of the TAMID curriculum, the VPs of Consulting and Investment Fund teach students once a week in their respective fields.
Gabriella Fishe, junior in ACES, is the current VP of Consulting.
“I teach consulting which, at its baseline, is solving problems,” Fishe said. “There is a lot of data usage, research and looking at trends to articulate and implement solutions. Every week I present our weekly curriculum I present that builds up to the case curriculum for consulting.”
The consulting class teaches students about market research, business development, marketing and how to help with business functions and operations. The investment class teaches accounting and finance fundamentals, various evaluation methodologies and how to be a smart investor.
After the educational portion, there is a capstone project for students to complete. Students on the consulting side will do a Harvard business case review, which will be turned in to nationals. Students on the investment side will go through a stock case competition, which will conclude their second semester.
Once their second semester is completed, the consulting side will perform pro-bono consulting for Israeli startups and companies that the national organization is partners with. The investment fund side will actually manage a stock portfolio based on Israeli equities and compete with other chapters.
Students, however, do not need to be a business or economics major to be involved with TAMID.
“We have engineering, journalism, and different majors that don’t have these technical classes and are able to gain the same amount of knowledge in a different kind of learning environment,” Fishe said.
In order to get involved with TAMID, students must first go through an interview process.
“We are looking for students who are willing to put forth the extra effort, who excel academically. They have a high intellectual curiosity,” Abrams said. “We don’t want to tell people what to do; we want them to tell us as a group so we can build on each other’s ideas.”
So far, TAMID consists of 30 new members. Once the University’s chapter has a 70% approval rate from TAMID’s national executive board, TAMID at the University hopes to become a nationally recognized chapter by Spring 2019.
“They try to keep the caliber the same at all the universities,” Fishe said. “So far we’ve gotten great feedback from nationals to keep up with what we’re doing, and we hear how excited and impressed they are with our progression.”
Students can go to TAMID’s website for more information on Spring 2019 recruitment.
“You should join TAMID if you are someone who is interested in learning more about consulting or investing or you don’t even know about it, finding a group on campus that is both collaborative and supportive, and if you want to learn valuable skills to apply in your career field,” Fishe said.