We spoke with Jacob Tessone, a former intern at OLAM coalition partner Energiya Global. Originally from Brooklyn, Jacob is currently a student at the IDC Herzliya.
OLAM: So, let’s get right into it! Can you tell us more about Energiya Global?
Jacob: Energiya Global works in developing countries to create affordable solar power. They work really hard to create renewable energy in the hopes of lifting people out of poverty.
OLAM: Awesome! How did you find the internship at Energiya Global?
Jacob: When I came to Israel for the summer, I knew I wanted to find an internship in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment. I did a lot of research on Israeli startups and started to send out emails. When I found Energiya Global, I immediately felt like it was a perfect match. Energiya has a great startup feel, but also really has their act together. The offices were great and everyone I met was really professional.
OLAM: That sounds really great. What made your experience with Energiya Global unique?
Jacob: When I visited Energiya Global, it just felt right. The vibe was a great balance between a more laid-back startup and a serious work environment. Energiya Global has a clear mission, which you can see. Everyone is idealistic about it; everyone knows their work is helping someone. Additionally, everyone in the office was really friendly. I remember, during my first week, a few of the interns and I went out to dinner and other people from the office ended up joining us. We really got to know each other; it was one of the highlights for me. It was refreshing not to have formal boundaries with my co-workers and to feel like I wasn’t on the bottom of the totem pole as an intern.
I was drawn to the social mission of the company and to the idea of trying to make a profit while benefiting others. Energiya’s mission is a win-win situation.
OLAM: Can you give an example of the most challenging experience of your internship and also the most rewarding?
Jacob: A lot of the work was challenging, such as reading legal documents. But, I kept in mind that the statistics had real people behind them. I reminded myself that I was reading something that’s going to change people’s lives for the better.
OLAM: Was there anything about your work with Energiya Global that surprised you?
Jacob: I think what initially really drew me to Energiya was that the enterprise is so socially driven. You sometimes hear about people who are only driven by money; at Energiya, it is completely different. There was a great balance between the capitalist and social motives of the company.
OLAM: What information would you pass on to people interested in getting involved with Energiya Global?
Jacob: Energiya Global is the epitome of the startup; their mission embodies the ideals of ‘startup nation.’ Energiya Global features the innovative aspect of a typical startup, but stems from Jewish ideology and seeks to help the world. I am very excited for the future of Energiya Global. They are working on really exciting projects and I would be privileged to work with them in the future.