MBA@UNC Global Immersion in Istanbul: Day Three

Offered four times a year, the MBA@UNC Global Immersions are exciting opportunities for students to convene in some of the world’s most captivating cities to learn new business frameworks, gain on-the-ground perspectives and collaborate with classmates to put what they learn into practice. This week, 84 students convened in Turkey to participate in the Istanbul Global Immersion themed “East Meets West.” Turkey’s economy is defined by the IMF as an “emerging market,” making it one of the world’s newly industrialized countries. What roles do technology, innovation and entrepreneurship play in its growth? In today’s closing sessions, students explore these topics and more. Join us as we blog live from Istanbul.

"Technology Innovation in the Entrepreneurial World"

Enis Erkel Enis Erkel has been the head of Turk Telekom Group R&D Directorate since December 2009. Prior to joining Turk Telekom Group, Erkel was responsible for R&D and new business development as Vice President in LG-Nortel, a joint venture company in LG Group. Starting in 2000, Erkel led sales and marketing of Nortel’s carrier VoIP and data solutions in Eastern Europe and Asia. In this capacity, Erkel guided Nortel’s VoIP portfolio to a service provider market leadership position in Asia Pacific and Greater China regions. Before moving to Asia, Erkel was leading the IP Solutions Technology and Market Development teams in North America.

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"It is day three of the Istanbul Immersion. No doubt we will be expanding our knowledge of emerging markets and taking an in-depth look into business practices in Turkey and the Middle East. Our first presenter is Enis Erkel, a speaker with extensive global R&D and business experience. As he progresses through his presentation, we all learn about talent development, turning opportunities into realities, cultural integration and applying knowledge in a global setting. His record of technology development in telecommunications seems endless. He is unique in that through his experiences and contributions to the world of technologies, he has succeeded in building a distinctive set of skills — skills that make him invaluable as Turkey focuses on technology innovation. While discussing with us the challenges and advantages for entrepreneurship in Turkey, he is highly optimistic and encourages prospective technological investment. Mr. Erkel is convinced that now is the right time, and Turkey is the place for such investments. We are certain that the Istanbul Immersion has made an impact on all of us with the significance of its topic, the diversity of the featured speakers and the incredible bonding of peers, faculty and our new Turkish friends." -Mariya Kovacheva, Class of 2015

"Growing Business in Istanbul and Around the World"

Didem Altop, Endeavor Turkey

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“One of the few things I am taking away is an enhanced understanding of the region, culture and the opportunities and challenges Turkey is facing today. During the immersion, we had the opportunity to have open conversations and a dinner with local MBA students, and you could tell by their faces that they were excited to discuss their life in Turkey. We spoke on a range of topics from the recent protests, religion, education and their hopes for the future. These conversations were enlightening and helped me realize that we face several of the same issues as young people. These onsite immersions are the best way to build and grow your UNC network. Even though we may not meet face to face every day as students, we are still able to have memorable experiences and build relationships around the world on a daily basis. During this immersion, I was able to reconnect with students who I had met on the last immersion in Singapore and met a number of new friends for the first time, including a new friend who ended up living 15 miles away from my hometown. I look forward to seeing these new friends over the next few months either through classes, platform happy hours or in Johannesburg.” — Jen Arnell, Class of 2014

"Bringing Microsoft to the Middle East and Africa: Global Strategy for a U.S. Company"

Ali Faramawy, VP Microsoft Middle East and Africa Division

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“As we have learned, the political, historical, cultural and geographic factors of a region can have significant impact on businesses operating in the region. Ali Faramawy’s presentation on Microsoft’s strategy for the Middle East and Africa was, to me, a real world example which embodied our classroom learning. It was fascinating to hear how Microsoft was able to grow its business in this region by developing a localized strategy which takes into account its social, economic and political context. Mr. Faramawy’s broad insight and charismatic personality also added tremendously to the presentation itself. The immersion experience in Istanbul provided me with greater insight into how to succeed in the dynamic business landscape within Turkey and the Middle East. But more importantly, the quality of the immersion program and opportunities to network with executives, professors and students helped me to reaffirm that my decision to attend MBA@UNC was indeed was of the best decisions I could have made to develop myself and my career.” -Tuan Do, Engineering Manager at FMC Technologies, Class of 2015

  See also: Global Immersion in Istanbul - Day One Global Immersion in Istanbul - Day Two