Volume 14, Number 29
May 21, 2008

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This Week

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By Atilla Karakurum IE '07

atillaHey Bilkenters!

It is very exciting to write once again for Bilkent News! It has been about three years since I last did this. Time flies! I remember my college days at Bilkent. Those were the days. Too much drama? Maybe. As an undergrad, I think I had a pretty amazing time - I cannot deny it, so I had better mention it.

I will have already graduated when you read these lines. Brief recap: I am an IE Alumni '05 and wrote for Bilkent News for two years. In 2006, I moved to the United States to continue my education as a fulltime MBA at the USC Marshall School of Business in Los Angeles. I would love to continue talking about my personal freak show in Los Angeles but I guess I will save it for some other time and touch base on an amazing experience of mine as a Bilkent alumnus in the United States. And, with all joking aside, definitely shoot me an email if you have any questions about USC, MBA, living in Los Angeles, etc.

Once you are out of college, you get to see things more clearly. The first thing you should know is how important it is to have a network after graduation! For those who will be graduating this month, make sure you stay connected to each other. Exchange numbers, email addresses, tie your shoe laces together or handcuff yourself to each other, I don't know - find a way! Why is this important? Bilkent alumni are all around the world working in Fortune 500 companies. You have no idea how vital this is for your career and personal development. Do not hesitate to get in touch with alumni from previous years. Approach them, set up informational interviews, ask questions, and get career advice! This is an equivalent to learning from each other's mistakes and getting better prepared for the real world. I am sure most of you are doing these already. I just thought it would be worth mentioning as the story is not different in the United States, Europe or on the Pacific Rim. It is all about networking!

A couple weeks ago, an email I got from Bilmed caught me by surprise. It was from Karalyn Eide, Bilmed's North America Representative, about how they are ramping up the process and putting endless effort to connect alumni in the US. As part of this incredible project, under Karalyn's leadership, Bilkent alumni organized gatherings in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle. Honestly, it was great to get together with people who all have a common background. We understand each other on a different level than everyone else does. What does this have to do with you? Well I am just trying to stress the importance of being a part of something that is bigger and better than the sum of its parts. Whether you are in LA, Istanbul, London, Tokyo, or New York, it doesn't matter. Everywhere, there is someone from Bilkent. So please remember this incredible family and put all the effort you can to be a life long part of it. You will never regret it!

I wish everyone the best of luck in future endeavors. Now I have to go to bed. It's five in the morning here in Los Angeles. Yikes!

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