The shark tank: Industrial engineering and management students swimming all the way to a winning presentation

A capstone event based on the famous Shark Tank TV format took place at the end of the first-year organizational behavior course at Afeka’s school of industrial engineering and management. Throughout the semester, students joined a variety of organizations and entities. With help from a mentor, they studied and identified the organization’s needs, and based on the company’s profile, drafted a plan to improve a specific chosen issue. At the end of the semester, the students pitched to an external committee of industry professionals, Afeka alumni, and faculty members, who evaluated each project – mimicking a common presentation format in the industry.

The course and the capstone event were the joint initiative of Dr. Hila Chalutz-Ben Gal and Keren Eis, led by the Center for the Promotion of Teaching, with the goal of enabling student work-teams to apply their study material at a real industry organization, with help from a mentor.

The course and the concluding Shark Tank event implemented pedagogic goals, instilling multidisciplinary skills in the students who took part. As per format rules, once the students had completed their presentations, the sharks voted for the winning team, whose pitch was especially compelling.

“I was pleased and delighted to be part of shaping the next generation of industrial engineers and managers in Israel,” said one of the sharks at the event, Rami Ben Haim, an industrial engineer and manager, and founder and co-owner of ERA Consulting, which provides strategic consulting, business and operational streamlining, and organizational consulting services. “The topics that the students presented to me, the other sharks, and the lecturers were fascinating and diverse. I saw motivation, creativity, and an organizational perspective in students who are only at the start of their professional paths. Bravo!” he added.

Dr. Hila Chalutz-Ben Gal: “Beyond integrating the study materials, this joint initiative enabled us to teach the students a variety of key proficiencies, such as teamwork, critical thinking, creativity, public speaking, and peer review. The sharks provided meaningful feedback that helped to internalize, deepen, and further integrate the study material.”