Humans of OLAM: Jacob Tessone


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.

To find out more about ways to get involved in global Jewish service and development work, check out OLAM‘s Take Action page.