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MBA@UNC Global Immersion in Istanbul: Day Two
When asked what he advice he would give a new MBA@UNC student, recent graduate D’Andre Payne said, “Go to as many Global Immersions as you possibly can. Having the opportunity to go somewhere, learn something and meet your fellow classmates and cohorts face-to-face — that’s something you can’t get from any other program.” This week, 84 students have convened in Turkey to participate in the Istanbul Global Immersion themed “East Meets West.” Today’s programs concentrate on the future of Turkey and include an opportunity to meet and share experiences with EMBA students from Koç University. Find out more about this multicultural immersion experience as we blog live from the event.
“From Chapel Hill to Istanbul: Kenan-Flagler Business School Journey”
UNC Alumni Panel: Ceyda Erdinc (2001), Mehmet Akgun (2003), Ayse Yasa (2012)
The morning was kicked off with an alumni panel discussion that included three Kenan-Flagler alums. I get particularly excited to hear from alumni because it is through them that I start to really grasp the career possibilities after graduation. I come to the immersions to make personal connections with fellow Kenan-Flagler students. The opportunity to interact with alumni has become a tradition at MBA@UNC immersion weekends.
Mehmet said at one point, “I came to Kenan-Flagler an analyst and left a CFO.” All of us as current students can relate to the first part of that statement, but it is the second piece that remains to be seen. Sharing this time with alumni and hearing their personal stories is absolutely essential for us in realizing our own paths after graduation. –Jonathan Howard, Class of 2013
A few key points from the alumni session:
- Match your personality to your industry – Mehmet shared the story of his career after business school, and virtually all of the job changes he made were sparked by his realization that he wasn’t utilizing all of his abilities. His advice to MBA@UNC students is to break out of your comfort zone and develop skills and capacities that meet the needs of the industry.
- Ask questions – Ceyda shared a personal story about how she learned to adapt to business culture in the U.S. While working at a consulting firm, she found it difficult to understand some interactions with clients and co-workers. She had been used to figuring things out on her own and not having to rely on others to do her job. Ceyda realized that she could not be successful without asking for help. Generally, when we ask questions at work, people are more than willing to help. After all, we can’t know it all.
- Stay the course – Ayse told us about how her family, in particular her father (and boss), did not understand why she wanted to pursue an MBA. “Learn by coming to work,” he told her. She knew, however, that she did not yet have the necessary skills to successfully manage employees. Attending Kenan-Flagler was just the place for her to develop her skill set.
“Future of Turkey: Impact of Taksim Square”
Dan Dombey, Financial Times
Daniel Dombey is the Turkey Correspondent for the Financial Times and is based primarily in Istanbul. He was previously stationed in Washington, working there from 2007 until 2011 as the U.S. Diplomatic Correspondent for the Financial Times. In this role he covered the U.S. defense and intelligence beats as well as foreign policy and the State Department. Dombey previously covered diplomatic beats in both London and Brussels, where he first got to grips with issues such as Iran’s nuclear program, European Union foreign policy and NATO’s role in Afghanistan. During five years in the Belgian capital, he also covered a series of other areas, including the start of EU membership negotiations with Turkey, competition policy and efforts to agree on a European constitution.
While in the middle of a geographic area with substantial potential for foreign direct investment, Turkey is relatively isolated. Turkey looks to the left and sees the European Union, characterized by slow growth. Turkey looks to the right and sees rapid development, but development that is characterized by chaos, political struggle, and difficult relations. Mr. Dombey argued that Turkey is a place characterized by tremendous opportunity but also a country that faces adversity in overcoming political and financial strife. Although Turkey is the 17th largest economy in the world, it also has the 5th largest current account deficit. This presents a number of problems as Turkey looks to grow and develop. The challenging political relations with surrounding nations – Saudi Arabia and the UAE in particular – aren’t making things easier.
Mr. Dombey offered a unique perspective on Turkey. While there is great opportunity here, he made it clear that Turkey still has a long road ahead. Whether Turkey decides to look left to the EU or right to the Middle East for economic growth, there will be tremendous implications for the global economy, current account deficits, and political climate. I truly enjoyed Mr. Dombey’s talk and his passion for this part of the world! -Lindsay Chason, Class of 2014
“Insightful Global Leadership: Eye on Turkey”
Professor Mabel Miguel (with Koç EMBA students)
Mabel Miguel is a Professor of Leadership and Management at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. She has developed and taught leadership skill courses for such organizations as the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, ExxonMobil, Sony Ericsson, Caterpillar, CEMEX, Eastman Chemical and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A citizen of the world, Dr. Miguel is uniquely qualified to lead UNC Kenan-Flagler students on Global Immersions. Born in Argentina, she has lived in Venezuela, Barbados, France and Turkey. She has taught extensively at universities and organizations around the world and was a visiting professor at Koc University in Istanbul.
The session spent with Professor Mabel Miguel along with a group of EMBA students from Istanbul’s KOC University was awesome. It was both engaging and interactive as we collaborated on comparing and contrasting our cultural and political differences and commonalities in the context of business administration. Mabel’s in-depth knowledge of Turkey, along with her energy and passion, served as a perfect guide for this session. This entire immersion trip has been a truly remarkable experience as it delivers value on multiple fronts; it connects the online content, students and professors together in-person, while also exposing us to a worldly emerging market like Istanbul, along with world class presenters and infusion of natives, all of which fostered a terrific learning experience. I am so excited I enrolled in the extension program so I can relish this great city and country for one more week! I have already started planning for future global immersions! -Scott Barber, Class of 2013