Palestinian Internship Program (PIP)
Nov. 22, 2020
As the Program Director of the Palestinian Internship Program, I have witnessed first-hand the immense impact that business and economic development can have on cross-border bridge-building efforts.
The Palestinian Internship Program is a US 501(c)3 and Israeli amuta that has launched two initiatives: an internship program (PIP) and, very recently, a mentorship program (PMP).
PIP recruits exceptional Palestinian university graduates and matches them into paid, high-tech internships in Multinational, Israeli, and Palestinian companies. Founded in 2014 by venture capitalist Yadin Kaufmann, PIP has run 11 successful cycles and has matched over 70 internships. Our candidates have completed degrees in computer science, engineering, marketing, finance, and business. To date, we've worked with over 40 companies, including Google, Teva, Intel, Cisco, Microsoft, and many startups and VC funds. PIP handles all logistics relating to internships, including permits, transportation, and lodging, along with general support for the intern relating to social and professional needs. In addition to paid internships, PIP runs ‘soft-skills’ workshops and hosts networking events with high-profile Israeli and Palestinian business leaders. Interest in the program has grown among young Palestinians, mainly through word of mouth; more than 200 candidates have applied for the few internship spots in recent cycles.
Recently, PIP launched a pilot program of a Palestinian Mentorship Program. PMP aims to connect senior executives from the Palestinian tech community with experienced mentors from Israel, the US, Europe, and the Gulf, thereby helping to open the Palestinian tech sector to the outside world and contributing to the development of this important sector. The Pilot Cycle of the program has matched 12 exceptional Palestinian entrepreneurs and executives with highly relevant mentors.
In addition to IATI, PIP has partnered with organizations including Manufacturers’ Association of Israel, The Portland Trust, Startup Nation Central, and others.
PIP and PMP are creating real change on the ground, providing career development for Palestinian graduates and entrepreneurs and professional networking opportunities for Israelis in the Arab World, while helping to break down social and cultural barriers between Israelis and Palestinians.
At the same time, PIP provides real benefits to the Israeli high-tech sector, by contributing to companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) and workplace diversity. Building bridges is not only about being ‘nice’ to one another. It is about creating a space where economic relations can flourish, where the sharing of information, experience, and ideas can take place in a mutually beneficial environment.
By hiring a PIP intern, you gain access to highly talented and bright individuals eager to develop themselves, be part of a team, and jump-start their own careers in the tech sector. PIP’s exceptional candidates have proven to be leaders, who will not only contribute technically and professionally to your team, but will contribute to your company’s social and cultural diversity and provide a rare opportunity to build relationships across the political divide. Two-thirds of our internships have been extended to longer-term opportunities, showcasing the incredible value PIP interns bring to their companies. And with the recent peace agreements with several additional Arab countries, PIP interns can help companies explore new market opportunities.
With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, PIP has successfully transitioned its programming online, running workshops and meetups via virtual platforms to maintain high engagement. For internships, matching has continued. While some companies have been able to continue with on-site placements, others have pivoted to virtual or remote onboarding. PIP assists where necessary, ensuring PIP candidates have access to quality internet connection and the necessary resources to excel in their roles. PIP staff are committed to ensuring a smooth onboarding process so that your company gets the most from their experience with PIP candidates.
At PIP, we have seen first-hand that business and economic cooperation can be a ‘win-win’ for all parties involved. By joining PIP as a host company, you can be a part of the effort to help grow the Palestinian tech ecosystem and build sorely-needed bridges.
Written by Anna D. Gol, Director of Palestinian Internship Program
Contact Anna at email@example.com