Amit Gal-Or has combined his studies at China's top schools and universities with establishing startup companies. His busy double life will continue after he was selected for a postgraduate scholarship at Peking University.
Amit Gal-Or has used his experience at ISB as a springboard to one of China's most prestigious postgraduate courses – all while founding several startup companies.
Israeli Amit, who graduated from ISB in 2014, will join 120 scholars from around the world in a fully-funded residential program at the Yenching Academy of Peking University (PKU) for a year from September. After receiving a bachelor's degree in economics from New York University Shanghai, he will study law with a particular focus on China while at PKU.
Yenching scholarships have just a 2-percent acceptance rate, according to Amit, who says "the university was looking for people who can provide the most impact across China's borders. That's how I've been building myself for the past 10 years living in China."
Amit juggles his academics with entrepreneurship. Throughout his studies, he has raised funds for investment and runs a platform for Israeli technologies entering China.
This Sinophile is hungry to learn all he can about his home country as he sees his studies as complementary to his business pursuits. "I want to pick up as much knowledge and experience as possible. Doing so opens doors," says Amit.
"I am continuously improving my methods to navigate the waters here. If I can do that, then it doesn't matter what's happening in the environment around you because you know how to adapt to situations and profit from them."
Amit studied for two years at ISB, captaining the varsity soccer team and getting involved in volunteering programs. One of his sisters graduated from ISB in 2017 and another just finished seventh grade. "I loved ISB," Amit says. "I also went to the top international school in Hong Kong and it was nothing compared to ISB. I made lifelong friends; I was very active there socially and in sports."
For Amit, being an international student has helped develop versatility and the appreciation of other cultures that is so important in cross-border business.
"You start with learning how to adapt to people, from different places and with different ideas," he explains. "You then learn that these kinds of skills sets are not about people, they're about situations. When I did try to focus on something that's natural to me, entrepreneurship, I saw that there are a lot of similarities in skills sets."
An alumnus of some of China's best educational institutions, including ISB, he is excited about experiencing yet another – and how it will benefit his career. "You learn very quickly that there's a huge difference between studying in a place and working there. Only when I started work did I realize how much I don't know about Chinese culture – not even a fraction. It set me off on a path where I had to continue to learn. PKU is a chance to deepen that," Amit says.