Student of the Week – Robbie Tylman
Shalom! My name is Robbie Tylman and I’m from Toronto, Canada. This semester, I have been living in the bustling district of Florentin, Tel Aviv. Next year, I will be attending Vanderbilt University.
I wasn’t planning on taking a gap year at all. In fact, I was somewhat against it. Yet as pandemic news worsened throughout Canada and the US, I began to realize that the Fall would look drastically different from other years. After my university announced its less-than-ideal reopening plan, my parents suggested I consider other options. When the idea of an ‘Israel gap year’ was put forth, I was slightly skeptical. I wouldn’t consider myself to be an over-enthusiastic Zionist or learned biblical scholar. However, after some research, it seemed like Aardvark was a great choice due to its hands-on programming and internship choices.
My favourite part of the program so far has been living right above Levinsky Market. There is always something exciting going on directly below my apartment; whether it be an impromptu jazz concert, political protest, group of arguing Israelis, or anything else. It is also nice to be within a minute walk from three hummus stores, four bars, a shawarma restaurant, and a convenience store.
I am looking forward to the many more trips planned throughout Israel this semester. I really enjoy visiting new places and learning more about Israel’s culture and history. I particularly enjoyed the trip to Haifa and the Omer Mountain hike. I am very excited to move to Jerusalem next semester and live nearby Shuk Machane Yehuda.
For my internship, I have been working for a music technology start-up called MyPart. Since millions of songs are released every day onto various music platforms, it is impossible to listen to everything. MyPart aims to solve this by using artificial intelligence to analyze music on a massive scale. Their algorithm organizes music based on a number of unique factors for easy distribution to potential publishers. My day consists of listening to many different songs and analysing them musically, theoretically, and lyrically to train the AI. This perfectly combines my passion for both technology and music in a unique way.
To anyone considering Aardvark or taking a gap year in general, my advice is to have an open mind and try everything available to you. Although some things may seem intimidating or unfamiliar, it is important to take risks in order to grow and learn more about yourself.