G’day, my name is Ricky Studencki, I’m 19 years old and I come from Sydney, Australia. I decided to take a gap year because I wanted to travel and meet people from different countries instead of rushing into university. Aardvark Israel was more appealing than other programs because it offers internships in start-ups, opportunities to travel in Israel and to meet lifelong friends from around the world. Also, what makes Aardvark unique is it gives you the opportunity to customize your own experience to which gives you more freedom than other programs.
I’m living in Tel Aviv at the moment and it’s been extraordinary. Every single day feels like an adventure. I’m interning at a Marketing Agency called Nomadigo which does Marketing, Advertising, PR, Video Production and Business Development for Start Up’s and Big Businesses in Israel. I’m doing Web Development for one of their websites called Nytlv.com. My internship has been incredible as I’m working under an entrepreneur who has been in the start nation since the dot-com era of the Mid 90’s and has had a $40 million exit. I’ve had a lot of opportunities such as going to conferences, first hand video production experience and meet people such as Jon Medved and NAS Daily. Also, I feel like I’m not treated as an intern but as a part of their team.
Also, I have my own podcast called Perspectives On Fire where I interview people that are working on fascinating projects. Since starting out in December, I have interview 11 people. This includes a space entrepreneur who has a solution to climate change, the first seed investor in PayPal and Pinterest, a blockchain evangelist and two Aardvark students who became millionaires. Overall, I love interviewing people as you become focused into the moment and can learn from someone who has been on a unique journey.
I went on the Ethiopia trip as a part of the international program of Aardvark. I decided to go to Ethiopia because it was the best opportunity for me to travel Africa. The trip was incredible; it was life changing as you’re exposed to poverty and a different culture. We got to see Villages, churches and markets within 3 cities. One of the highlights was meeting Dr Rick Hodes who provides Ethiopian’s with life changing back surgery. This experience made me feel proud to be Australian because you realised I realise how lucky I am to grow up with lots of opportunities, a loving family that takes care of you well and a high quality education.
My advice to high schoolers is not going to be the conventional advice. Firstly, life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey as that is where the true value is. Secondly, people don’t remember you for your academic results (HSC or ATAR marks if you are Australian) in high school or what Ivy league school you went to. They remember you for how you made them feel and the impact on them. Thirdly, You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, that means that who you spend the most time with, is who you will become.
Link to Perspectives On Fire: