iMBA Program Alumni Reunion

Hundreds of BIU’s iMBA (International MBA) Program alumni gathered recently at the program’s reunion event held on campus. The get-together allowed alumni to reconnect, meet up with old friends, and network.  Following the event’s immense success, it was decided to hold a program reunion every year.

Cindy Sinvani, iMBA Program Coordinator, said that the reunion was planned in the spirit of the study program: “we at the iMBA program, faculty and staff, are a close-knit family, and we make it a point to include the students and create an amicable academic atmosphere.  As such, we wanted the alumni of all iMBA graduating classes to know each other.”

Opening the event was a lecture by David Assia, Co-Founder of Magic Software Enterprises and CFO of Nadyr Investments, focusing on Israel’s hi-tech industry. Afterwards, a cocktail networking event was held, in which small group open discussions were held on topics such as finance, marketing, medical equipment and industry. Event goers mingled, listened in or joined the different discussions, contributing from their acquired experience.

Networking Works

One attendee was Gadi Levin, an iMBA alum who made Aliyah from South Africa in 1999 after completing a BA in Accounting and Computer Science. Today, Levin is CFO at LiveStyle Ltd., a biotech software company.

Levin is a firm believer in the networking system for both personal and professional advancement. “I got one of my jobs at a networking event. In one of BIU’s conferences I sat in on a lecture by Itzhak Raab, then CFO of an investment firm. I introduced myself to him and asked to join his firm as an accountant. He had no obligation to hire me just because we met at a networking event or because we had the same alma mater. But this incidental encounter helped me get my foot in the door. That and a successful job interview.”

Levin notes that this year’s reunion was also very productive for him: “Prior to the event I had an opportunity to meet with various people, chat and hand out business cards. But in order for networking to be effective there should be more than one annual event.  Alumni should maintain contact with their fellow alums and attend as many events as possible.

The BIU Network

Another attendee of the event was Joel Padowitz, a native South African who, before joining the iMBA program, had completed a BA in Jewish Law at Yeshiva in New York. While at BIU he also studied in the Jesselson Institute of Advanced Torah Studies and was ordained as a.. “I already had work experience in the finance industry,” he shares. “When I registered to the iMBA program I had established my own firm, Palladium hedge fund.”

In 2005, while studying at BIU, Padowitz met his now-business associate, Michael Hartstein. “We were in the same class and we founded a company specializing in private investments in public companies. After we graduated, our company grew and evolved, and eventually became a small investment bank. Today we provide companies with a range of financial services, including mergers and acquisitions.”

“We were fortunate enough to see our company, which we established as students at BIU, thrive and grow,” notes Padowitz, “so we didn’t need the BIU network to find jobs or transition from one position to another. But we did keep in touch with the University and over the years hired several iMBA alums to work in the company.”  Padowitz says he owes much to Bar-Ilan. “If Michael and I hadn't enrolled in the program, we wouldn’t have met and our successful partnership would have never come to be.”

In light of this reunion’s success, and the positive feedback received, Sinvani promises that another alumni reunion will take place next year. “Following the event many alumni contacted me to tell me they created new business connections and were exceedingly pleased with the evening’s results. I even got some requests to advertise new positions designed specifically for program alums.”