In honor of our annual Masa Global Staff conference, we decided to share Melanie’s story as she has worn many hats here at Masa. She was a participant in 2017 and is now part of the alumni and staff at Masa!


Q: What is your full name, where are you from, University/ degree you hold and the program you took part in?

I am Melanie Ruetter from Argentina. I have a degree in advertising, and did Lej Leja program in February 2017. 


Q: What was your life like before coming to Israel on Masa?

Before going on my Masa program, I was finishing my degree at university while working at an e-commerce company. Once I received my degree, I decided that I wanted to have an internship experience in Israel to advance my career.


Q: Why Israel?

 I have always loved Israel, and the feeling of arriving and being at home is something I haven’t found anywhere else. I was lucky enough to travel to Israel 3 years in a row with different trips before deciding to do a Masa program. During the last trip, I knew that I wanted to live in Israel as a local for an extended period of time and not just as a tourist. The Lej Leja program through Masa seemed like a good fit, so I went for it!


Q: What was one of your favorite moments during your program?

It is very difficult for me to choose a single moment. What I can say is that I loved being able to live in Israel during the holidays. I was able to remember and celebrate Yom Hazikaron, Yom Hatzmaut, Purim, and some other chags throughout my stay in Israel. To be able to experience this with the Israeli society and to experience the culture and love that Israeli’s have for each other is absolutely amazing!


Q: What was your program like, what was an average day for you?

The Lej Leja program is a 5-month program for participants from Latin America. The program consisted of a professional internship in Tel Aviv as well as many other aspects. During the first month, we had intensive ulpan (Hebrew) classes and then from the second month until the end I had my internship. It was in a digital marketing company, so it was definitely an incredible and super enriching experience! In addition to my internship, we had different educational activities, trips, as well as free time!


Q: How do you think taking part in Masa helped you on your journey to a meaningful career and future?

Masa helped me grow personally and professionally, 100% both! Having the opportunity to live and be in contact with people from all over the world, practicing other languages, customs, and cultures opened my mind a lot! Another bonus was being able to work in another country, with other people that have different ways of working in your field. Undoubtedly, it has strengthened my CV and helped me know more about myself and what career was right for me.


Q: What are you up to now?

I am currently working at Masa! I work with a fellow Latin American, Romina, we are two representatives working together to bring more participants from Argentina and Chile. For me, doing a Masa program was undoubtedly the best experience of my life so far! I’m very happy to be part of the Masa family and have the ability to help others experience what Israel has to offer, and hopefully change their lives as well.  🙂


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