Interning Internationally: A Brazilian’s Journey to Tel Aviv with an African-Facing Startup
At the end of May I decided to take a break from college and come to Israel to pursue new experiences. In Brazil, it is very common to take a break in between one’s studies, so instead of studying abroad at a different university, I decided to combine a work experience in Tel Aviv, the heart of the ‘startup nation’, with developing new skills as a health professional and my duty of care.
For the past four months, I’ve been working for Keheala, a mobile health startup which improves healthcare access and treatment outcomes by using behavioral interventions delivered across basic feature phones. I had the opportunity to learn how to conduct market research, to learn more about different organisations and their initiatives and to attend to different events like Keheala’s presentation at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and Innovation Center. My work with Keheala opened my eyes to the harsh realities, which many countries and their patients face; the needs are often very basic but solvable when we choose to focus our energies on creative solutions.
As a pharmacist student, I learned that sometimes just the drug therapy is not enough to overcome all the difficulties that patients face. As an example, a lack of information and support, long distance to health facilities and stigmas results in higher failure rates. This is the reality in many countries which Keheala is fighting to change, and I was able to contribute and be a part of the project.
Aside from working with Keheala, I had the chance to live in Tel Aviv, meet new people from all over the world, get to know different cultures and live by myself for the first time. When I decided to do an exchange back in May, I couldn’t have imagined the amazing and meaningful life experiences I found these past few months.