Student Spotlight: An Interview with Daniel Koren

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You seem like a very busy man! How are you finding the time?


I invest time planning! That’s all it is, I plan my life as if it were a project at work. I apply my administrative techniques and use technology to help facilitate activities and procedures.


What does your typical day look like?


My day starts at 4:00 am and finishes at 22:00 pm. Each day has its projects and each project has certain tasks and activities involved. My most important project is my work. I like to think of my work as a type of gym, where I am building my professional skills. My job offers me many challenges and difficulties that I can overcome.


You have studied at both the Open University Israel and The Academy for Distance Learning (ADL). Can you compare the education style and level between them based on your experience?


That’s simple to answer, ADL is what’s missing in the University/college system. I see that universities and colleges just sell what they know how to sell as opposed to what the market really needs. The economy needs good workers, while these institutions know how to produce good researchers. In many ways, Universities and College are disconnected from the real workplace and professional life.

As a senior student in the Business Faculty, I can say that most Business Studies, in both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, are still focused on the local sphere. These studies supply you with good theoretical knowledge but that’s it. You will not gain what you really need, professional and practical knowledge, personal and soft skills as well as technological skills.


In that case, why would anyone want to study at University?


When universities were first established, their purpose was to supply students with a wide understanding of the world by imparting the basic scientific knowledge in a wide array of sciences. I support the idea of an undergraduate degree that is not specialised (General Studies or Multi-Disciplinary studies) while enabling the student to accumulate one or two years in professional post-graduate studies such as ADL offers.


I can definitely say, a course of study through ADL can help local academic education equip their students for real-life professional success. ADL's professional courses, combined with practical education, based on global views and taught in the international language of English, will help students who wish to develop a global outlook.


How is the farm going?


Agriculture is still, and always will be, the basis of our civilization. As long as we require food and water as an energy source, agriculture will be with us. And those needs are not going to disappear soon.

For me, farming started in my childhood. My grandparent’s farm required a lot of hands and us, their grandchildren, were recruited in the summer holidays to work there. Their farm was big and complex, they had laying hens, dairy cows, maize, cucumber and herb crops as well as fruit trees.


When I went to live in Romania, it was natural for me to live in my wife's family’s village house and to contribute to the farm labour needed there in the short holiday’s I have.


But you still decided to study Hospitality, not agriculture


Yes, but my main interest is International Agro-Tourism. And more specifically, rural/village Hospitality and Lodging. I am promoting these sorts of projects in both Romania and Israel. These projects are focused on being sustainable and environmentally friendly. My first project, Biking the Bible routes, will be launched soon and is a biking tour of famous biblical sites. ADL students are more than welcome to join in! As we say in Hebrew, “Beruchim HaBai’im!” (Welcome!).


You also offer tours in Romania?


Yes, I live in rural Transylvania, the area that Prince Charles considers his second home. I’m proud that this area is my second home as well. My wife completed her License as a Tour Guide and together we have helped many international tourists pass through our city, Brasov. As a proud Romanian, I can welcome you with a “Bun Venit!”. Again, ADL students welcome!


Proud Israeli, proud Romanian! What’s your link with the UK and the US?


English is still the language of my education. Many of my teachers in key subject taught in English and were English themselves. Being part of a UK institution, such as the ICB has really elevated my status abroad. I’m currently studying the ADL Higher Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Administration including ICB studies as well (Level II Bookkeeping).


Working in a technical environment, I found myself drawn to technical studies. TPC Training systems is my home for Technical studies. A unique learning institution that focuses on Industrial and Building Maintenance courses. Studying there helped me a lot with my work in the technical logistics field .


We understand you’re currently developing GISBO – Global International Student’s Business Club. Can you tell us more about that?


GISBO is a frame for collaboration and interface directed towards young Small Business Owners (SBO), who desire to expand their business into the global/international sphere. My experiences working with small businesses, I discovered that SBO's tend to have either an optimistic or pessimistic view, regarding success in their respective business environments. Many Small businesses do struggle with their local market, often ignoring the opportunities found in the global market. Most SBO's tend to develop pessimistic views based on their experience in the local market. But for those few SBO's who have a broad business understanding and an optimistic view, they realise that the global environment is very different from the local market. The global opportunities are waiting for these SBO's.


What GISBO offers is a platform for small business owners who are looking for customers abroad. Let’s say you are a vendor on Amazon or own a Guesthouse in South Africa and you’re trying to increase your customer base globally. Here in Romania, I can help you adjust your marketing strategy for a Romanian audience and promote your business within the Romanian market. Other people based in other countries, can also help you break into their local markets. GISBO is essentially a way for people to develop and help each other break into different markets across the world. It's all about people and interpersonal connection, to assist each other based on our local strength and capabilities.


How will you find the time for all this?


I get asked this a lot, especially from my wife. I believe GISBO is important, so I will find time for it.


Thanks very much for your time! Read Daniel's Biography here!

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