After graduating from Johns Hopkins University with an applied mathematics and economics degree I worked at Lehman Brothers in New York doing sales and trading. My job required me to interact with clients and train analysts which I enjoyed immensely.
During my time on Wall Street I also started helping students from Johns Hopkins with their resumes and cover letters as well as interview prep. I also joined the recruiting committee at Lehman Brothers, which allowed me to discover what stands out in applications.
After 4 years at Lehman Brothers, I attended Columbia Business School because I wanted to switch sectors and be better equipped to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams.
Once I obtained my MBA I worked in business development for a large retail conglomerate, following that I was recruited to be COO of an e-commerce site.
Most recently, I started an online fashion aggregator company and have had the privilege to build a company from the ground up.
In all of these roles I have reviewed thousands of resumes and held hundreds of interviews while continuing to coach prospective students.
I enjoy helping people put together their genuine stories and realize their goals.
Tell us about yourself
I am Turkish. I was born and raised in Istanbul. I went to an American high school in Istanbul and then attended Johns Hopkins University where I double-majored in math and economics with a minor in entrepreneurship.
After graduating, I worked in interest rates sales on the trading floor for Lehman Brothers. I decided I wanted to get an MBA because of my interest in a nonbanking job and in entrepreneurship. A friend recommended EXPARTUS to me, and I was a client in 2007 before being accepted at Columbia.
I wanted to move back to Turkey, where I then worked in a retail conglomerate doing strategy and business development and as a director at Groupon. I began working with EXPARTUS to have a better work/life balance.
I have always loved recruiting, hearing people’s stories and helping them. I always recruited wherever I was working and for Columbia.
When I was an EXPARTUS client, the most helpful part of the process was the brand assessment. It was such a great self-reflecting, introspective experience.
My consultant helped me look within and figure out what my goals were in the short term and the long term. I still look back and realize it helped me to get to know myself better.
When I was a19-year-old student at Johns Hopkins, I knew I wanted a job on Wall Street, but everyone thought I was crazy because Hopkins is not a big Wall Street school.
I stayed at school over the Christmas break and did a school networking trip to Wall Street. I met alum who was a managing director on Wall Street.
He asked me for my name at the end of the event, and I found out later that he made sure I got an interview slot for the Lehman Brothers internship. From there, I nailed the interview and got the internship and later a full-time offer. His remembering my name made a big difference for me.
I realized when you are starting off that even the smallest bit of help that someone else can offer can make an insane amount of difference in someone’s life.
Once I got to Lehman, I started recruiting Hopkins students and participating in those networking events.I wanted to give back because I really benefited from it myself.
That desire to help people, to give back is what drives my MBA admissions consultant work with EXPARTUS.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I like getting to know people. I can empathize and put myself in their shoes. I have had the advantage of wearing many different hats in life – as an entrepreneur, living in the U.S., living in Europe and working at big banks and a small startup. I am interested in getting to know people and putting their story What are the biggest misconceptions about the business school application process?
People always think of what the admissions officer wants to read, so they try to verbalize in that way instead of being very genuine. Being genuine and unique is what admissions officers are looking for. There are a lot of qualified candidates, but they want to form a class of unique individuals.
People devote so much time to their professional life, and sometimes it is hard for them to see the interesting aspects of their personal brand at first. But there is always something underneath, something that drives them or experiences they have had that makes them memorable.
I worked with someone who had experience working for his family’s company, but he was very, very focused on being successful on his own and not riding the wave of his family’s success.
So, while he didn’t originally want to mention the family business, I encouraged him to highlight that aspect of why he wanted to get an MBA becausethat type of motivation is what highlights applicants as genuine because it is respectable, and it’shonest.
What is your personal brand?
I am a people person and I am also an optimist. I like meeting new people, getting to know them by putting myself in their shoes. I always focus on the positive and encourage others to do the same. Trying different paths in life inspires me, and I find it brave.