Experience in Israel like no other for first-time intern

Jonathan F. McVerry
August 28, 2019

(This is the 15th and final story in a series about students in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications completing summer internships.)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State junior Emily Moskowitz thinks every student should travel abroad. She says it’s equally beneficial for the career resume as it is for the life resume.

Moskowitz is majoring in photojournalism in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and this summer she spent nine weeks in Tel Aviv working as a graphic designer/photography intern with the e-commerce agency Dataworks. It was her fifth time visiting Israel, but her first internship. She assisted with the company’s social media strategies, specifically for the company’s Brklz line, a brand of dog accessories sold in the United States.

Growing up in Livingston, New Jersey, Moskowitz dreamed of working in graphic design. After her freshman year at Penn State, she learned about the Bellisario College’s photojournalism major and saw a pathway to an even bigger dream — working in the fashion industry.

“It is cool that in this day and age, social media involves a lot of photojournalism … and seeing and understanding things on the web,” Moskowitz said. “I read a lot of fashion bloggers because that’s something I want to do some day.”

Over the summer, Moskowitz helped Brklz develop Instagram stories and organize photoshoots. She also worked behind the scenes with photographers and assisted in building social media plans. Seeing an agency approach in another country was an experience that she found particularly educational.

“This was my first summer in 12 years not at a summer camp. It was a big change,” she said. “I miss camp, but interning in a foreign country, experiencing the culture and seeing the differences between Israel and America was an amazing opportunity.”

Moskowitz’s trip to Israel was through Penn State Hillel’s Onward Israel program, which provides students an immersive experience through internships, fellowships and courses. The program’s internship coordinator, Lital Yeshurun, said Onward Israel recruits most of its interns from the United States. Twenty-seven of its summer interns this year were from Penn State.

Yeshurun said Moskowitz worked with the Dataworks creative team and helped with a variety of projects.

“Emily is a hard worker, and I think she had fun and made the most of the experience,” Yeshurun said. “I hope more students will appreciate the experience of living in another country. The experience they gain is a big part of their understanding of the world.”

Moskowitz echoed that sentiment. She said she would advise fellow students to take advantage of studying abroad, no matter where it is.

“If you have the opportunity … do it,” she said. “Intern abroad. Anywhere. Definitely go for it.”

Moskowitz was no stranger to Israel as a visitor, and she said transitioning to its business world wasn’t necessarily challenging, just different.

“Tel Aviv is mostly English and the office sells in America,” she said. “But the office experience was much different. Everything was much more laid back. It was a casual vibe, very different.”

Moskowitz is heavily involved in Penn State Chabad. She is also on the leadership council of the Jewish Heritage Program and a member of Alpha Omicron Pi.

Moskowitz appreciated the Bellisario College’s guidance when switching to the photojournalism major, and said the faculty and staff were “understanding and helpful.” Her major puts her on track toward a career in the fashion industry. Moskowitz said working in Manhattan would be ideal, and she’ll always take opportunities to see the world.

“You learn a lot from the experience” traveling abroad, she said. “It’s a different kind of lifestyle, and it was really cool to be a part of it this summer.”

Last Updated August 29, 2019