A leg up



March 17, 2017

Hannah Wise knew nothing about the real estate industry, but had always been curious to learn.

At her internship with OwnerLand Realty in Ohio, every day was different. Some days she would create marketing materials. On others, she would respond to leads and enter new client information into the MLS database system (the website realtors use to enter and track listings). Sometimes she even assisted realtors at open houses and showings.

Wise (Miami University of Ohio ’17) landed her internship with the help of Careers Cincinnati, a joint initiative of Cincinnati Hillel and Hillel at Miami University, and fully immersed herself into the life of a real estate professional.

“I gained a perspective on both the buyers and sellers side of real estate.”

Hillels across the country assist college students in landing internships with companies like Macy’s, Northwestern Mutual and Sherwin Williams.

Wise is one of many students throughout the nation to discover that Hillel offers more than just Shabbat services and kosher meals.

As she prepares for graduation, Wise hopes to one day start her own business, specifically, a health food business. She expects her real estate internship experience to be helpful along the way.

Down South, University of Florida (UF) Hillel provides workshops for students to learn about interview skills, social media management and other job preparation programs.

Trevor Youshak (’17), who took advantage of these services, said, “When I spoke to potential employers, I wasn’t nervous and I felt confident that I had what it took to work there.”

Participants in Career Up Now: Los Angeles learn from Eytan Elbaz, co-founder of Applied Semantics, which would later become Google AdSense. Photo courtesy of UF Hillel.

Thanks to UF Hillel’s internship program, Career Up, Youshak landed an internship at Three Rivers Legal Services, a free legal aid society in Florida, and as a judicial intern at the Osceola Courthouse. After six weeks of internship training, a local judge offered him an internship on the spot.

“UF Hillel has a tremendous networking basis so they were able to help me seek internships that fit my career aspirations, not just to simply build up my resume,” Youshak said.

Rabbi Adam Grossman, CEO of UF Hillel, said Career Up is becoming a national program and helps students across the country gain access to mentors and professional networks. 

University of Delaware Hillel and Northeastern University Hillel added a new career service this year, professional headshots students can use for networking sites like LinkedIn.

Out in California, the Hillel Foundation of Orange Country pairs students with career mentors through the local Jewish Federation. Executive Director Lisa Armony called this a win-win; while students are making connections, professionals in the community learn about the work of Hillel. At a recent networking event, professionals from 12 diverse fields (medicine, law, politics, among them) met with UCI students for a networking event.  

“Students not only had an opportunity to network… but also [learn] how their Jewish identity can inform their professional path,” Armony said.

Elisha Jacobs (New York University ’18) said the Collegiate Leadership Internship Program (CLIP), an internship program run by Hillel at NYU, is a beneficial experience because of the long-term relationships it fosters.

According to Julie Wichler, coordinator for leadership initiatives at The Bronfman Center at NYU, CLIP focuses on pluralistic Jewish leadership. Like Career Up at UF, CLIP typically links students to organizations with mostly Jewish leaders.

Jacobs said he worked as a financial analyst at AmTrust Financial Services in Manhattan’s Financial District through the internship.

“I worked for a vice president who immensely cared about my professional development and took time to explain the little things,” Jacobs said.

Wichler said about 80 percent of students who take advantage of CLIP accept jobs with Jewish organizations.

CLIP interns at Capital Camps Retreat Center in Waynesboro, Pa. for a Shabbaton. Photo courtesy of The Bronfman Center.

“Most recently, we have seen interns do this at UJA-Federations of New York, The Union for Reform Judaism, and The Arnold P. Gold Foundation,” Wichler said. 

Nearby, Queens College Hillel connects current undergraduates with recent alumni for career counseling coffee dates.

Without the help of Careers Cincinnati, Wise said she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to network with other Jewish teens in Cincinnati, as well as have access to the resources that the program offers. Careers Cincinnati has people who assist in preparing a resume, and holds events to meet other students within the program.

Wise appreciates the opportunity Careers Cincinnati has given her to potentially pursue a different career path than she intended.

“I’m a foodie at heart, so I hope my career will eventually revolve around something to do with that.”