Brandeis International Business School

Soaking up Israel’s startup culture

A Tel Aviv cybersecurity company hired Dun Lin, MSBA’20 as its first U.S. employee. It all started with an internship

Dun Lin and classmates pose for photo.

Dun Lin, MSBA’20, center, participated in the Hassenfeld Immersion Program before landing an internship in Tel Aviv.

Dun Lin, MSBA’20 had never left China before enrolling at Brandeis International Business School.

He got his first taste of Israel’s startup culture in the spring of 2019 while participating in the Hassenfeld Immersion Program. That summer, Lin jumped at the opportunity to complete an internship in Tel Aviv through the Israel Internship Program, part of the International Business School’s Israel Initiative.

“Israel has a startup atmosphere,” said Lin, who interned at Kovrr, a company specializing in cybersecurity risk management. “I wanted to experience that environment.”

The internship changed Lin’s life. After graduating with a degree from the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program, he was hired as Kovrr’s first U.S.-based employee.

At the time of his internship, Kovrr was just getting off the ground. Many of the company’s products and processes were still being built from scratch. With a staff of just eight people, it was easy to share ideas and ambitions over lunch. Lin also stood out thanks to the programming and data visualization skills he honed in the MSBA program.

One of his first consequential tasks as an intern was building a program his colleagues called The Enricher, a sophisticated internet scraper that uses search engines to find and collect information about client companies. Lin’s success designing a core program for the company led to bigger, more technical tasks.

“I felt like I was trusted,” said Lin.

While working in Tel Aviv, Lin’s housing, health insurance, transportation and food stipends were all covered through the Israel Internship Program. The program’s benefactors include Gary Jacobs ’66, Robin Jacobs ’66, Udi Mokady, P’22 and Reuben Auspitz ’69.

Lin left such a positive impression as an intern that Kovrr asked him to work remotely part-time while he completed his master’s degree. Full-time work soon followed after graduation, first in the Waltham area and now back home in China.

“We built a very special personal bond,” said Lin of his Kovrr colleagues. “And that bond has kept us connected.”

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