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Upon completing his teaching degree at Hebrew University, Oren Gilboa, 33, started working as a math teacher at a Jerusalem high school. “As a realist I have always been drawn to the world of math, which is filled with various mental challenges and not just formulas to solve problems. During the prolonged teachers’ strike in October 2007 I started to make a career move.” Oren got hired at Ex Libris as a support and integration analyst after seeing a Hot Jobs article posted on the Jobnet site.
On Ex Libris:
Ex Libris develops, manufactures and markets computerized systems for library management. The company is a leader in providing mechanization solutions for academic libraries and offers the most comprehensive set of products for sorting and cataloging electronic, digital and printed information. The systems provide micro-solutions for different types of libraries and macro-solutions for the trend toward development in the worldwide information industry.
Why did you decide to change course by leaving the world of teaching?
“During the strike I took a good, hard look at the education system in Israel and realized I didn’t want to belong to it. I really enjoyed the teaching itself, and the youthful atmosphere, as well as the feeling of carrying out the important task of shaping young minds and the energy and creativity involved in teaching high school students. However, I decided to retrain for a job that would provide both enjoyment and professional and personal gratification. I devoted three years to education and teaching students, and the time had come to make a change.”
Oren Gilboa at the Ex Libris offices
Which types of jobs did you apply for?
“I sent out resumes primarily for technology jobs and to high-tech companies. I applied mostly for jobs in the field of support and integration, which allows you to work with people and technology at the same time. I was also looking for a pleasant and amenable work environment. The atmosphere at schools can be very stressful and working with teenagers is very involved and can take a lot of energy. So I tried to look for a calm place and a fulltime position.”
Your support job was defined as a “Hot Job.” How did you spot it?
“I decided to follow my heart and during the strike I started looking into job-search websites, with a focus on Jobnet. Suddenly I came across a notice on the site’s home page and the job description – support analyst – really appealed to me. I sent my resume right away.”
What was it about the job that appealed to you?
“I liked the combination of technology and communication presented in the job profile. The job of analyst requires very broad vision. Support personnel work with the development department and accompany the entire development process in a lot of ways. In addition to the technical side analysts also deal with communication and require interpersonal skills as the intermediaries between the company and the customers. After reading the article, which expanded on the company and the position, I realized it was a challenging job for which getting hired depended on passing a course. Also, information retrieval fascinated me and I saw a career future.”
How was the screening process conducted?
“During the course of the recruitment process I underwent an initial screening interview with the manager of the support department and team leader, followed by a screening day at Pilat, including group dynamics and an assessment center. The total screening process was long and painstaking but still friendly, and I maintained contact with the human resources department throughout. During the recruitment I felt I had found my next place of work – a stable, serene company that serves as a warm home for its staff.”
What did you learn in the course before starting the job?
“During the course, which took a month, we received training in various fields, including more in-depth knowledge of information science and computing, greater familiarity with the company products and improved skills in communicating with customers. The course, which had 16 new support employees, combined several disciplines and gave us the basic tools needed to be a support worker.”
How was the integration process following the course conducted?
“Taking up the new job went very smoothly and there was a lot of support. This definitely eased my integration into the company, which was a critical and important phase of the recruitment process. Afterwards I was assigned to a support team along with the other people in the course, so I quickly got accustomed to the organizational environment and had the benefit of close, professional guidance.”
What is the job of Support and Integration Analyst all about?
“The analyst is in charge of support for the range of Ex Libris products, which means handling all of the problems related to operating our programs. By identifying and analyzing the problem he provides customers service and is constantly in contact with them and with the support personnel located around the world near the respective customer. The job requires both analytical and technical ability in working with software, and an understanding of the customer’s needs and demands.”
Is there any similarity between mathematics and support?
“Math is identical to support and integration in terms of the analytical thinking both involve. In my job as an analytic support person I have to analyze the customer’s problems through deep thought, so my realistic side is active and develops from day to day. I think math has proven itself in the past and today as well as important in solving problems and technological challenges.”
What kind of company is Ex Libris in terms of its character and the atmosphere there?
“Ex Libris is a company that has the qualities of a high-tech company – a pleasant, calm and unpretentious work environment, without ego or stiff bureaucracy. As an organization with over 20 years of operations, I work with both young workers and veterans with 10-15 years’ seniority. I think Ex Libris is a different kind of high-tech company; it has something very Yerushalmi about its involvement with the world of information sciences, libraries and research.
Are you happy with your transition to a high-tech company and do you see yourself developing and advancing at Ex Libris in the long term?
“Certainly. First of all the task of analyst is very dynamic and challenging. The support workers are never bored and it’s rare for me to encounter the same problem twice. I’m also happy to be part of a leading, longstanding information science company. The social life here is very active and I enjoy working with high-caliber, mature support personnel.”
What advice do you have to offer job-hunters?
“Considering the economic crisis I recommend jobseekers not give up and follow their hearts’ dictates. Despite the recession there are a lot of jobs and it’s definitely possible to locate interesting, challenging positions.”
Or-Li Sadeh, administrative assistant and human resources coordinator, tell us to what extent your collaboration with Jobnet has met your recruitment needs?
“Collaborating with Jobnet has been really exceptional. The courteousness and the advice on promoting job listings has helped us a lot in receiving resumes from quality, professional employees.”