Making a career u-turn isn’t easy. But former lawyer Elad Sherf is convinced that getting an MBA from a world-class business school can help him do it.
After spells with two of Israel’s leading law firms, Nathan Meir & Co. and KRP, Sherf, who was born and raised in Tel Aviv, felt it was time for a change.
“I wasn’t satisfied with my career as a lawyer,” says the straightforward 30-year-old. “I didn’t do things I love doing and things I am best at.
“I was looking for a career change, and an MBA is a leverage to do that.”
With his heart set on breaking into the corporate world, especially consulting, Sherf knew that proving that he could hold his own on a top English-speaking program was key.
He applied to several US business schools, including Wharton and Tuck, but wasn’t accepted.
So he turned to another English-speaking country, Australia, and the AGSM MBA caught his eye.
“It was around May, 2008,” Sherf recalls. “AGSM is ranked very high in the world (ranked 36th by the FT this year). In comparison to what I was looking at in the US, it was lower in the rankings but still higher than any other schools in Australia.”
Despite obvious cultural differences, Sherf didn’t experience any great cultural shock. “Sydney in a way is very similar to Tel Aviv. And the language isn’t such a huge barrier, as we’ve been studying English in Israel since fourth grade!” he says.
Sherf spent his last semester on an exchange at NYU Stern, and also initiated an event in which students gave talks about what they’ve learnt from their non-business experiences. On Sherf’s turn, he talked about lessons that can be learned from the Old Testament.
His AGSM MBA days “have to be valued at a number of levels”; says Sherf, but the “diversified experience” he had was the highlight.
He says: “We had 60-plus people from more than 30 countries, and it was very interesting to experience Australia and that part of the world. It was awesome. I’ve made friends that will last for life.”
Overall, Sherf says his MBA allowed him to “take things to the next level”: “For someone who came with an undergraduate business degree (Sherf studied Business Administration as part of his law education at Israel’s Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya), I did learn a lot of new concepts.
“The MBA helped me make lots of connections, and look at things more logically and strategically.”
Now applying to a PhD program in Business Administration in the US, Sherf is thankful for his AGSM experience. “AGSM is a great place to go to; the administration team is working hard every year [to recruit bright students],” he says.
“I am looking forward to them continuing to improve in the rankings, and hope to be a useful alumnus in the future.”
The picture above shows Elad speaking at the AGSM Delphi Talks, a quarterly event that he started while at AGSM that is inspired from the famous TED Talks
Catch him speaking at the first ever edition of these talks at AGSM, in the video below.
Read more about students, alumni and programs at the Australian Graduate School of Management here