Kareen Makhoul - Technician on the IT team

For her, working from home is boring. She’d rather come to the office, even if it involves commuting from Haifa to Netanya five days a week.

Please welcome Kareen Makhoul – a dancer, soccer player and a technician on our IT team!

What’s a soccer player and a dancer doing on eBay?
I am a computer technician on the IT team. My work includes solving problems in our systems and helping people. I love this job, especially on eBay. The people here are great. I’ve worked in a global company before and I feel this is very different, it feels like a family here. The atmosphere in the offices, when we still used them, is wonderful.

My routine used to include commuting from Haifa to Netanya, Sunday through Thursday. Three times a week, after work, I’d go to soccer practice in Petach Tikva. Practice went on till 22:00, and then I’d go back to Haifa. It’s challenging and can be very tiring, but I believe that when you do something you love, nothing can stop you. On the contrary, it gives me more energy to go on. I love soccer and I love my job.

How did you get to eBay?
I’ve always loved technology and computers. I was very interested in the area when I was young, but our sector limited me and it was frowned upon. Without my family’s support, I wouldn’t have been able to make it. My parents always encouraged me and told me not to give any weight to what others say when it comes to computers or soccer. When I was young, my father drove me four times a week to Hadera, to soccer practices. I started working in eBay a year and three months ago. After several interviews, I got accepted on Christmas Eve. It was a very merry Christmas.

What do you love most about eBay?
The professional challenge. The main challenge is to always learn and develop. There are always malfunctions I’ve never encountered before, and I need to research and find out what the problem is, and then find a solution. It’s a very interesting job and I am involved in some very challenging projects.

I think another challenge is to balance my work and my hobbies. One doesn’t replace the other, and I am glad I can do both. eBay allows for a good work-home balance, so the soccer and work don’t clash, they just require many hours of my time, but I need to expand a lot of energy, so soccer enables me to do so. I am also a breakdancer and a hip-hop dancer, so I get to do all the things that I love.

Also, it’s the people. The people who work here are great. I have many friends here and there’s always someone to talk to. Everybody is very appreciative of the work we do, and it’s fun to work in such an environment. Other than that, there are all the high-tech goodies – a great kitchen and delicious meals, on regular days, of course. There’s a game room and a music room, which allow you to relax a bit during breaks. There’s also a happy hour every now and then, and it’s always fun.

How is work during Corona days?
Now I mainly work from home, and once or twice a week I go to the office. I am bummed, because I love going outside and meeting people. I think this situation has taught me how important is our daily routing, it’s a huge, under-appreciated thing.

It’s 2020, but high-tech is still dominated by men.
It’s true. Our sector still isn’t used to the fact that women work in high-tech or play soccer. My Grandmother had a hard time accepting that, she thinks soccer is for boys and women shouldn’t do it. Oddly enough, it seems like women find my soccer-playing more disturbing. Men I’ve played with always appreciated and respected me because of my skills. 

Women around me don’t often work in high-tech, but I chose this area when I was young. My family and friends are very proud and happy for me, they know it was my dream and they are very supportive.

What’s your message to women who want to work in high-tech?
Be strong and stand your ground. I would recommend high-tech jobs for women, because they can lead them to great places, help them learn and develop. There are a lot of areas to work in and many things to learn.

It’s not always easy at the beginning. People can root for you but they can also be an obstacle in your way. I am sorry to say, not everyone has your best interest at heart. I am against the dogma that commands women to stay at home. I think a woman should come out, learn, investigate what interests her and reach her goals. I feel like I am an example of that – I really do what I want and I make my dreams come true. I believe anyone who wants to, can do it, just listen to yourself and dare to move forward.

Karin, thank you! You are a great example of a strong, brave women.
We hope all your wishes come true, and that we continue to grow and develop together.