Hatice Karaboğa, one of the first graduates of the Business Administration program at Abdullah Gül University, started her career as an Account Manager at Asia Quality Management, a Hong Kong-based French company active in textile business.
Hatice Karaboğa said, studying in the US or doing internships abroad was a dream come true thanks to AGU. Besides the overseas experience which had been unimaginable before, her education also played an important role in her work and social life, she added.
Karaboğa highlighted one of her aims as doing voluntary work and touching people's lives and summarized her activities in this context as follows:
"I was aware that I gained a lot from my previous experience abroad. That's why, I looked for opportunities to work as a volunteer abroad. I applied to organizations in other countries which fitted my aim. Among them, High Oak Youth and Community Center in the UK, which was the one I wanted most, accepted my application. In August 2018, my adventure as a volunteer began and continued for 7 months."
Hatice Karaboğa lastly gave the following advice to future graduates:
"Whatever you do at the university, you will reap your efforts' benefits many times more. Every club you join, every project you volunteer for helps you be different in the work life. Be as social as you can, work part time at the university, participate in club activities and voluntary projects. The more you invest in yourself in these regards, the more advantageous you will be in the future. As much as internships, brands, software programs, these types of work count in the business world. You may show that you are better than your rivals only with these aspects of yours."
One month before his graduation, Berkay Güncan, one of the first Mechanical Engineering graduates of AGU, received a job offer from the global company Stryker to be an R&D Engineer. Since the offer, Güncan has been working at Stryker.
Güncan, who is also the Alumni Association Head, talked about how he was able to get that job offer before graduation:
"The command of a foreign language was the biggest factor. Besides, a high level of digital competence was also effective as it was important to be an R&D engineer. Being a graduate of AGU allows you to look at the world with a very different vision. Upon our enrollment at the university, we were told that the university had the vision of educating us to be world citizens, and especially after graduation and starting to work we really felt like world citizens. Our command of English, technical knowledge, attitude towards events take us further than others thanks to AGU."
Berkay Güncan also made some suggestions to future graduates stressing the importance of volunteering:
Güncan said: "Always join events at the university and volunteer for social and technical work to develop your competences. Focusing on those two will be enough to find jobs as AGU graduates."
Güncan added that for working at an international company, cultural awareness, communication in a foreign tongue and self-confidence were also important.
Ömer Sarıca, one of the first graduates from the Business Administration, started to work at the Allianz Partners, a world-famous finance and insurance company, two months before his graduation.
Working at the Irish office of the company, Sarıca said, during his study AGU offered various opportunities to engage in projects with institutions abroad, which enabled him to work at an international company abroad.
Ömer Sarıca, now a product technician, talked about how he was employed:
"I made up my mind about where I wanted to work one year before graduation. After collecting information on the sector I was interested in for some time, I started to get in touch with local and overseas companies. This process began about 4 months before graduation. After many interviews, I knew where I would work two months before the graduation.”
Sarıca stated that he was also interviewed by companies based in Turkey and Netherlands, but he preferred Allianz Partners as the project in Ireland was more current and interesting for him.
He delivered the following advice to potentials graduates: "I can tell you that success and happiness stem from working in the area you love. Just like Steve Jobs said, 'If you really look at the ones that ended up, you know, being “successful” in the eyes of society and the ones that didn’t, oftentimes, it’s the ones who were successful and loved what they did so they could persevere, you know, when it got really tough.'
Lütfiye Aykaç, one of the Industrial Engineering graduates, got a position at Clariba, an international technology company, shortly after completing her degree program. Aykaç works as a "Business Intelligence Developer" now.
In our talk with Lütfiye Aykaç about her employment process after the graduation, she particularly mentioned 100% English-medium education and overseas experience among the AGU's privileges which helped her find the job in such a short interval.
She stressed that thanks to those two criteria she had the advantage in job applications and passed employment steps with ease. She said: "International companies specifically look for overseas experience at applications. Whether one makes an international or domestic job application, this detail provides an advantage."
Aykaç gave the following advice to prospective AGU graduates:
"I believe, it is very important to leave good impressions at firms where one does internships. Having an excellent command of English before graduation and documenting that with TOEFL or IELTS exams are very advantageous for an academic career and business life. Class projects also take one several steps forward during job interviews."
Halil Bilgin graduated from the Computer Engineering this year and started working at Revolut, a financial technology company based in the UK.
Bilgin works as a data scientist at the Financial Crimes Department of the company in London. He said, language education offered by AGU in the USA and his participation at an Erasmus+ project in Germany gave him experience thanks to which he got the job at an international company abroad.
Bilgin said the following about his employment process:
"I began job hunting around January before my graduation. I applied for jobs suitable for me on various international platforms. In the process, I was interviewed by Google, DeepMind and Amazon via video conferencing. Bloomberg even invited me to London in February. The more interviews I did, the more I could correct my technical or communicational faults. Although I was turned down, I noticed some of my shortcomings in the interviews and aimed for employment in the next ones."
Halil Bilgin said, he preferred AGU for its successful academic staff, Erasmus+ opportunities, and scholarship advantages which enabled him to develop personally and academically.
Halil Bilgin gave the following advice to prospective AGU graduates:
"I began my job and internship search in my first term at the university. That is what I would advise all students. Particularly for computer engineers, I have more specific advice: Choose yourself an area of expertise and know your area in depth. Besides that, acquaintance with all concepts of computer science is a bonus in interviews and business life."
Alper Çeşmeliler, one of the first graduates of the AGU Mechanical Engineering, is now an R&D Engineer at ELK Motor which manufactures electrical engines.
Alper Çeşmeliler stated that graduating from AGU helped him create effective and sustainable projects with an engineer's perspective at work, be entrepreneurial and dynamic in social life, and integrate with the society.
On advantages of an overseas experience he gained thanks to AGU, Çeşmeliler commented:
"AGU's biggest contribution for me was clearly developing skills of speaking, writing and listening in English. Naturally, this helped me be active in job interviews and teleconferences. Besides, exchanging views with people from various parts of the world in projects raised my awareness to developments and problems around the world."
Alper Çeşmeliler gave the following advice on business world to future graduates:
"Business world is constantly moving, developing and changing. I believe that you should be flexible. At the end of the day, your method or approach might be outdated. It is important to follow domestic and international developments closely. Professions are now interactive and intertwined, so you should also have a certain level of knowledge outside your area of expertise. Lastly, you should think creatively, be entrepreneurial, not hesitate to share your ideas and actively use your communication skills.”
Rumeysa Bingöl graduated from the Electrical and Electronics Engineering and began her career as a "Researcher" in the field of communication systems at TÜBİTAK, one of Turkey's most valuable institutions.
After her graduation, Rumeysa Bingöl had interviews with various companies and her job application was accepted by TÜBİTAK. She stated that she had begun applying for various jobs at especially corporate companies in her senior year and was happy to start working at TÜBİTAK.
Bingöl emphasized the advantages of being an AGU graduate saying, "The most important benefits of AGU are 100% English-medium instruction, high quality of education, overseas privileges, and project-oriented courses."
Rumeysa Bingöl explained that these benefits allowed her to work with many instructors during her higher education in various projects, and these projects in addition to the English-medium education were highlights of her job interviews.
Rumeysa Bingöl gave the following suggestions to the AGU students who will soon be starting their work life:
“I believe your instructors with whom you work are your best references. Probably, your interviewers will not know how hard you work or how much you know. However, your instructors with whom you work on projects will know about you and may help with your job search. Apart from that, in many of my interviews, I was frequently asked technical questions. You should know your graduation projects, internship work or classroom projects well because this knowledge is particularly assessed in job interviews.”
AGU produced its first graduates only last year and many AGU alumni were employed in prestigious institutions in a short time. One of those who quickly found a job after graduation is Ramis Akın Korkmaz, an Industrial Engineering graduate. Korkmaz applied at the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI) and started working as an air traffic controller in Istanbul.
Korkmaz stated that besides learning from the best instructors in their fields, he was taught to have self-confidence, to establish humane relationships and to be good world citizens at AGU. In that regard, I benefited a lot from my instructors, he added.
Ramis Akın Korkmaz also mentioned the advantages of overseas experience offered by AGU in his work life:
"Going to a language course at the USA taught me not only English, but also how to live in and adapt to a foreign country at a young age. An Erasmus internship I joined later reinforced my gains and showed me foreign workplaces and how people work there."
Korkmaz is in training in Ankara now before his active duty and shares the following recommendations with future graduates:
"Private sector, government and academia are all different in terms of working conditions. In order to understand which one is better for you, ask around, do your research well, because after some time when life settles down, it will not be easy to change. Although for short periods of time, I experienced the first two and am now happy where I am."
Before graduation she secured a position at UN Women with a long-term internship. AGU graduates find jobs at international companies and institutions in short periods and İrem Polat became an administrative assistant at the UN even before graduation. Polat was accepted for a long-term internship at UN Women and before her internship was over, she received a job offer.
İrem Polat expressed her dream as working in non-profit companies or institutions and added that she realized that dream thanks to her education and experience at AGU. Polat said:
“I have always wanted to work at a non-profit organization. With the advice of a professor, I applied for the internship at the United Nations and received a job offer during my internship. I believe this offer was a result of my internship. I showed that I can do better by starting at a very demanding position.”
Polat said that she preferred AGU particularly for the language education and its vision. She added: “I wanted to be a global person. I came to AGU believing that I would receive an education which would help me live anywhere in the world I wanted.”
Polat stressed the importance of internships and voluntary work for graduating students and made the following call:
“Dear friends, become interns! Become volunteers! Apply for small positions in big companies. I know that we all want to aim for higher, but our experience is little. Rather than telling, show recruiters what you can do as interns.”
After graduating from Industrial Engineering, he started working at THY as an income analyst
AGU graduates quickly find jobs at the leading companies and institutions in Turkey and the world. One of the first graduates of Industrial Engineering, Buray Türkmen’s job application was accepted by the THY and he started as an income analyst.
Türkmen talked about the advantages of his experience abroad during the recruitment process and employment:
“I have experienced its advantages both directly and indirectly many times. The language course in the US created a tremendous foundation for my English and I could understand academic sources better and easily follow trending events. I joined an Erasmus Youth Exchange project at Malta and thankfully gained friends from various parts of the world with whom I still keep in touch today. Lastly and most importantly, I did an internship in the Netherlands and I have benefitted from that experience a lot while working at Turkish Airlines, which is a national pride as a company.”
Türkmen gave the following advice to AGU students with regard to a quick employment process:
“My first advice is that they should develop their career plans as early as possible and take steps in that direction. It may take some time for new university students to understand which subfields they are interested in, but an early decision would give them advantages over a last-year’s student who has just set career targets. It is very important to follow current topics, to talk to people from the business world and academia and to see what the market needs are. Students must do related internships, carry out academic studies and even create a tangible product before graduation if they study in a department such as Mechanical Engineering or Electrical and Electronics Engineering. About his future career plans, Türkmen said: "I plan on improving my skills in aviation, adding more value to the company I am working at and continuing my academic studies."
Industrial Engineering graduate Umut Yapır started working as a Business Analyst at ASELSAN.
Most of the first graduates of AGU who finished their studies last year found jobs before their last day at the university and many others got a job shortly after. One of the later type of students is Industrial Engineering graduate Umut Yapır. Yapır started his working life within a short time at ASELSAN as a Business Analyst after his job application.
Mentioning the quality education at AGU, abroad experience, social skills and a strong network as factors for getting a job in a short time, Umut Yapır also talked about his graduation project carried out in collaboration with ASELSAN and the advantages it provided him.
Yapır gave the following advice to prospective AGU graduates:
Internships during one’s undergraduate study are indeed valuable. Interns get to discover what they want or what they want to avoid in the future. Students should remember that even a failure is an experience and helpful. Potential graduates should follow necessary examinations if they want an academic career. Recruitments consist of several steps and take some time. As this pre-employment process can be tiring, make some alternative plans and be prepared.
Umut Yapır also stressed the huge advantage of 100% English- medium education at AGU and added:
“I automatically met the application criterion about the foreign language thanks to graduating from a university whose medium of instruction is 100% English. Based on my observation, I can say English is no longer an added value but a necessity.” As for his future plans, Yapır said: “In order to complement my work academically, I would like to complete a master’s program in computer engineering.”
İsmail Berat Farız, a graduate from Civil Engineering, works as a project planning engineer in Kuwait
A majority of AGU’s first graduates found jobs at interna- tional companies and other institutions in a short period of time. İsmail Berat Farız, one of the graduates of the Civil Engineering department, started his career as a planning engineer within a short span of time after his graduation at the Terminal-2 project for Kuwait International Airport carried out by Limak Holding, an international company.
İsmail Berat Farız explained in his interview that he owed his job at an international company to experiences he gained as a student at AGU, projects and internships he did, as well as social and professional events he joined abroad and in Turkey.
Farız said he received offers from many companies but he preferred to work abroad and chose the one in Kuwait. He stated that adaptation to business life was not difficult for him thanks to the 100% English education and integrated and collaborative courses.
Farız talked about his plan to pursue an academic career in Kuwait as well and shared the following recommendations with future graduates:
"I must say that the business life is different from the university life, more complex and challenging. I can say with confidence that they should not be afraid of making mistakes, should learn from their mistakes and see every mistake as an experience." Also stressing the importance of having a good command of English, Farız said: "I had a head start on other candidates because I entered into business world as a graduate with a good command of English. Thanks to my English education at AGU, I did not have any troubles at job interviews abroad and could express myself better."
AGU students receive job offers before they even graduate. Şükrü Yasin Güven, one of the first graduates from Industrial Engineering, was only one of those who was offered a job before graduating. Güven was offered a job at ASELSAN thanks to his graduation project and started to work there and was quickly promoted to Project Manager.
Güven talked to AGÜ News about the privilege of being an AGU graduate and how he got job offers before graduating.
"Being an AGU graduate is not only about departmental courses. It also means gaining certain discipline. Therefore, a graduate both knows his or her responsibilities and proves themselves in social areas."
"I owe my job at ASELSAN to my highly successful graduation project carried out at the company. While executing the project, company officials expressed their wish to work with me. The process started with an online application and finished after two separate face-to-face meetings. The process lasted almost 3 months."
Şükrü Yasin Güven gave the following advice on business life to future graduates:
"In business life, being solution-oriented rather than problem, being curious and having strong communication skills ensure a quick socialization and integration into business. I believe, not shying away from making mistakes, knowing how to ask questions and elicit answers are keys to the success in business life. "I benefit from all the experience I gained in social areas, during the project process and from communication skills I developed. I sincerely think that future graduates need to improve themselves in these aspects."
Sami Kaya, an AGU Industrial Engineering graduate, became a Continuous Improvement Project Engineer at ASPILSAN Energy Inc. after his internship at the same company.
Starting his career within a short time after graduation, Sami Kaya enumerated his internships, course and graduation projects as factors in his becoming a project engineer at ASPILSAN. Kaya highlighted the importance of university-industry collaborations, internships at partner companies as well as graduation projects and described them as opportunities to be seized.
Sami Kaya said, as an AGU graduate the biggest advantage he gained was self-esteem;
“Above all, I built self-esteem thanks to my sound education. In addition to theoretical knowledge, I worked on real-life problems in the final projects of many courses. Despite the fact that I used to complain about them as a student, I can now say that they prepared me for the challenges of business life.”
Sami Kaya acknowledged the 100% English education as a distinguishable advantage of AGU and gave the following advice to candidates for graduation:
“You should know that you are getting a good education. Do not forget to improve yourselves intellectually besides getting prepared professionally. Your professional qualities might be noticed by a handful of coworkers in the business world, but you can carve a more respectable position in a wider community thanks to your cultural and intellectual richness.”