Updated: Feb 28, 2019
For most of us the semester is just beginning, but for these 47 students, 3 professors and 1 VERY tired Teacher Assistant (Metargelet) one course is already behind them.
This ambitious endeavor was led by Dr. Stav Rosenzweig (Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management), Dr. Yair Zdaka and Dr. Kineret Oren (Faculty of Health Sciences) & Prof. Amir Shapira (Faculty of Engineering Sciences)
I asked Dana Rubin Ridel, the only person in any academic institution in the country to TA for 3 different lecturers at the same time, to tell us about her experience with the " Innovation, entrepreneurship and development of new products in the fields of health sciences" tri-faculty course.
Q: So, first thing's first - how many working hours did you pull last week?
A: Let’s think, how much is 5 times 24? 😉
Q: What's so special about this course?
A: It’s is like nothing you've ever heard before. An Amazing Experience. The course is available for students from 3 different faculties - Health Sciences, Engineering Sciences, and Business & Management. We hand-picked the best 47 students (15/16 of each discipline) out of ~160 applicants and they were asked to split into teams of 6 (2 of each) and work, together, for a week straight, on engineering solutions, with a solid business plan, for medical challenges. I met clever, ambitious and creative team members & heard some great ideas.
Q: It was crazy and tiring and a logistic nightmare, but was it fun?
A: This experience was, for me, an up-close look into the world of entrepreneurship. I had the opportunity to mentor the students – think creatively with them, consult and help them polish their ideas and processes. For me, it was a hands-on experience in many fields which were only theoretical until now.
Q: 8 teams - 8 projects. Which one would you invest in, and why?
A: Common, these are all life-changing products, which I’m personally invested in – I can’t possibly choose one!
I will tell you, however, that judges chose “Brolly” – a medical device designed to prevent and alleviate Pelvic Organ Prolapse. Funny story about this particular group, they were 4 women and one, terrified, man – he went to the podium to accept his reward and said “I learned so many things about women I didn’t want to know this week.” But that’s not the funny story I wanted to tell you. The mechanical design of the device didn’t come from the mechanical engineer team-member, rather from the physiotherapist. It’s truly amazing how the diversity in the team could bring the very best in every single individual
Q: What was the hardest thing about managing this course?
A: If, on average, the working memory can retain 4 to-do tasks, I had to keep in mind – probably a million. Also, every day we had half a dozen expert judges, from both industry and academia, I had to juggle interactions with students, lecturers and high-ranking C-level officials.
Q: What was the most rewarding?
A: Definitely seeing the difference between first day’s presentations and last. In just 5 days, they did probably 3 months’ worth of work. They’ve become so good so fast. We don’t usually notice the difference when it’s gradual, but there was NOTHING gradual about this course.
Q: So, you’re obviously a super-hero! If you had actual superpowers, what would they be?
A: To be able to snap my fingers and instantly have a yummy meal – we should invent a device like that. Hey, look at me – I’m already thinking like an entrepreneur.
Q: This course is happening again next semester, are you willing to go through it all again?
A: OF COURSE!
Are three faculties too much or not enough? Let us know in the comment section.
Wanna know what it was like for the students? >> https://yazamut360.bgu.ac.il/feed/120-hours-course-version