Winter 2001-02

To Report on Business Education

 Business Week Selects Haifa Student

“Business is all about developing products for people, studying people, servicing people, and buying time to get out the new version of a product by skimping on the time timd spent with the more important people in your personal life.  The money, the titles, and the roles are just symbols—it’s people what really drives business.  Studying business is really about studying people.”


The description sounds like it comes from a company recruiting campaign or a university’s catalog.  It is, however, the reason that Vivien Cohen-Leisorek chose to go into the University’s MBA program.  The words are hers.  It struck the 25-year-old immigrant from Guatemala that “business is not about numbers and pie charts, or, even though many may disagree, about money.  In the end, it’s really about people.”  Which, she adds, was not too far off from what had driven her to study journalism for her B.A. degree at the Technical University of Mexico City.

It is easy to see why she landed a job in product marketing communications at NICE Systems, a local start-up whose work force grew ten fold in just a few years.  She still works there, more than two years later.

And it is also clear why Business Week, the well-known American trade magazine, selected Vivien as one of the very few non-Americans and the only non-native-English-speaker among a select group of business students to write about their business education experience.  The articles appear in BusinessWeek online, the publication’s Internet magazine.  They are part of the site’s “MBA Journals” section ( Her fourth piece, in fact, even made it to the first page of the MBA section, not just the MBA journals.

When Focus caught up with the youthful business-executive hopeful, she had just seen her third article published on the Internet. She explained that the publisher wanted 8-12 pieces in all over the course of her studies. The University of Haifa Graduate School of Business Administration offers a unique 18-month degree program aimed mainly at those already holding beginning or middle management positions.  Since classes are held two concentrated days a week, students are able to work, and advance in their companies, while studying toward their degree.

Vivien had been a frequent visitor to the BusinessWeek site, and she decided to apply to become an MBA Journal Writer for the 2001/2002 school year after seeing an ad for new writers.  The “job” is completely voluntary, but the Web site was reported to have received more than 150 applications.  A few weeks after sending in her resume and two writing samples, she received notice of her selection.  Only one other of the 11 picked was not an American, and he was from England.

 Vivien’s English comes in part from her childhood schooling in Guatemala City, where she attended a bi-lingual—Spanish/English—Interamerican School.  Now living in Tel Aviv, she and husband Ari, who is originally from Mexico, made aliya in September 1998, three weeks after they married.




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