Since his days in the Israeli Scouts, building things from scratch using rope and wood, Asaf Aronson has always enjoyed using creative thinking to develop innovative solutions. Now a Schulich Leader and third-year Mechanical Engineering student in Israel’s Technion, Asaf hopes to apply this skillset in his studies and career. “There are so many pressing issues that impact people around the world, including the climate crisis, world hunger, lack of access to healthcare, to name a few. Technology, if it’s done right, can help solve these problems and improve the world,” said Asaf. “Studying at the Technion has been a great place for me to grow, learn, and develop as an engineer.”
Hailing from Ramat Hashavim, a small town outside of Tel Aviv, Asaf felt he had a low chance of being awarded the Schulich Leader Scholarship when he first applied. Receiving the award, he said, was “a really nice surprise,” which has allowed him to prioritize his schoolwork and engage with the growing network of Schulich Leaders in Israel. “It’s a diverse and interesting community of people who are enthusiastic about making an impact and leading a full life and career,” said Asaf. “It’s a privilege to be part of that network and to connect with all these people.”
This is a big reason Asaf is grateful for the Schulich Leader program: it offers opportunities to form meaningful connections with other Schulich Leaders on campus, contributing to his sense of belonging. Thanks to the program, Asaf is immersing himself in extracurricular career development opportunities for Schulich Leaders. One of these programs focuses on teaching Leaders about entrepreneurship and innovation, offering materials on how to succeed in the start-up world, which Asaf has found very helpful.
While he is currently specializing in the energy sector, Asaf is open to the wide range of opportunities that are available within the engineering field. Asaf credits his Jewish upbringing and Israel’s identity as a start-up nation for being driving factors in his career ambitions. “Israel is such a special country to be a part of and I feel a strong connection to it,” he said. “I hope these Jewish values will make their way into whatever I do in my life and career.”
The Schulich Leaders Scholarship is allowing him to do just that—by playing his part in building the country he loves, through the commitment to innovation and excellence which defines both Israel and Asaf’s own passions.
Schulich Leader Scholarships are the largest and most prestigious Canadian scholarships for undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Since 2012, the program has been fully funded by the Schulich Foundation and administered through UJA Federation.