Abroad in Israel: Optibus Opportunities
By Amy Vogel ’20
In the past two months that I’ve spent in Tel Aviv through MISTI Israel, I’ve had the unique opportunity to progress and grow alongside a company that’s doing the same. Since I’ve been working for Optibus, they’ve on-boarded more employees than I can count on one hand, adding to the main Tel Aviv office, San Francisco and European offices.
This is where I work!
I’ve also had adventures working on projects in numerous departments, as Optibus’s official “Transportation Analyst.” In brief:
Business Development: The Mass Transit Industry
I started off by working on a market analysis for one of the sectors of the mass transit industry, a booming transportation sector that is overlooked, and could use some optimization. I wrote a 25-page report, and set up meetings with various contacts from all facets of that particular industry, so that we could learn more. Last Thursday, I had an amazing opportunity to present my findings in front of the entire company.
Presenting research at all-company meeting
Alongside the market report, I took on a few blogging projects for the Optibus Blog. This was a lot of fun because it involved talking to developers, and other people at the company, in order to learn all about the product, and then relate aspects of Optibus to everyday life. So far, the three posts I have published are: the commuter policy at Optibus [read: free e-scooters], one about utilizing AI to prevent bus bunching, and most recently, a post about NP Hard Problems in our scheduling algorithm. I also had the chance to record a demo video for Optibus which demonstrates how to use the platform!
Screen capture of Optibus platform
Product Design: Researching Technology Platforms
Finally, for the last few weeks, I have the opportunity to take part in examining the future directions of the Optibus platform. The product direction is actually very interesting, since it requires the use of additional layers of data within the system. Since we need so much room for customization, it’s no trivial decision. I’ve learned a ton about the new platforms, and yesterday I presented that information for R&D.
Company send-off for our Solutions Engineer heading to San Francisco to help a client
With two weeks left of my internship, I want to optibize my time here by enjoying Tel Aviv, soaking up the middle eastern sun, and putting my all into the rest of my projects at Optibus.
Visiting “HaTachana,” or the first train station in Tel Aviv
Another beautiful Israeli sunset
After spending the Spring 2018 semester studying abroad at the Technion in Israel, Amy Vogel ’20 is spending the summer interning in Tel Aviv at Optibus, a company that helps mass transit operators find transportation and planning solutions. Her abroad experiences have been facilitated by MISTI MIT-Israel.