Turkish news nowadays carries vivid images which have become terrifyingly commonplace: the surface of the sea littered with dead sheep; a landfill explosion leading to a number of deaths; vendors offering radiation-contaminated tea for half-price; a little girl’s death resulting from her fall through an open sewage manhole in her schoolyard; radioactive waste sold to unsuspecting scrap dealers; a twenty-year-old tanker breaking into pieces, spilling hundreds of tons of crude oil into the ocean and killing sea life all around.
The frequency with which these environmental disasters fill Turkish news broadcasts — along with the obvious insensitivity of the authorities towards both environment and health issues — prompted me to learn about ways to prevent these types of disasters. At the age of fifteen, I decided to focus my studies on environmental sciences in order to equip myself with the technical tools I would need to make a real contribution.
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After earning a master’s degree in environmental sciences, I completed a professional international management certificate program in order to gain a management perspective of the field. I then realized that, in order to effectively combine my technical knowledge and management skills, I needed to accumulate real-world experience. Specifically, working at a large company would allow me to develop insight into various industries, as well as an overarching vision of the international business arena.
I have now worked for nearly two years in the energy and environment group of Koc Holding, Turkey’s first and biggest diversified conglomerate. As a project engineer, I am mainly responsible for our holding companies’ environment and energy sector investments. This position has given me the opportunity to interact with businessmen from all over the world, thereby expanding my international perspective.
Because of my outstanding work performance, I was chosen to attend various meetings with local and international governmental bodies such as OPIC, IFC, and the World Bank. It is highly unusual for a young associate to represent the company at such events, and my self-confidence — as well as my management skills — was further enhanced by that successful experience.
While working in various business lines, including the automotive industry, consumer durables, and the energy sector, I have realized that the root cause of many environmental problems is financial. I believe that many people in the environmental sector are so ignorant or insensitive that they will cheat customers to increase profits.
Furthermore, businesses do not prioritize environmental investments; as a result, insufficient funds are allocated to adequately prevent problems. For instance, despite a population of over eight million people, Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, still lacks a properly operating sewage system. In most of the areas of the city, wastewater is discharged directly into the Bosphorus.
In the long term, I hope to help solve my country’s problems by starting my own environmental services business in Turkey. The company will serve both local and international customers by providing cost-effective, adaptable solutions ranging from waste management to safety management. In order to accomplish this goal, however, I must deepen my knowledge of the field. Despite my experience, I still lack some important knowledge and management skills, especially in finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship. I am also aware that my knowledge of American environmental issues is insufficient. Since dealing with aspects of international business will be an integral part of my job as an entrepreneur, it is essential that I fill in these gaps.
The NAME School’s MBA program is the perfect bridge from where I am to where I want to be. I am attracted by the inventiveness and uniqueness of its entrepreneurial and finance programs, and believe that I will increase my practical knowledge of entrepreneurship by interacting with my classmates. I value the fact that at NAME entrepreneurial education does not stop at the classroom, but rather continues through internships and extracurricular activities. I feel that a business school for entrepreneurs should balance a dose of theory with real-world application, and NAME’s curriculum and hands-on experiences through associations, internships, and the management field study provide such balance.
I am also drawn to NAME because of the school’s emphasis on teamwork and technology, reflected by such exciting courses and programs as High Technology Entrepreneurship, International Finance, 12-week field application projects, and the global immersion program directed to teach global thinking and global action. Additionally, the school’s profusion of student groups and its flexible entrepreneurial program — with electives from 200 courses — will allow me to tailor my course of study directly to my career interests. It is precisely this flexibility that I plan to draw on while at NAME and beyond, by taking advantage of (and contributing to) the school’s strong international alumni network.
Above all, a NAME MBA will help me strengthen both the finance knowledge and the entrepreneurial skills necessary to secure a position as an environmental specialist in a multinational American-based firm. Such a position, in turn, will prepare me to accomplish my long-term ambition of building my own company. By developing and maximizing the technical knowledge and managerial skills I have already accumulated, NAME will allow me to ultimately make a concrete and substantial contribution to Turkey’s environment.