BY MARYAM SHAHID (CS/I)
Pınar Çağlayan Aksoy is a graduate of the Bilkent University Faculty of Law (2008). Dr. Aksoy decided to pursue an academic career and is currently working as an assistant professor in the same faculty, teaching courses on the basic concepts of law, legal research analysis and writing, and inheritance law.
Why did you become a professor?
I really liked explaining things to my friends when I was an undergraduate student at Bilkent. Sometimes I had 15 to 20 people asking me to do tutorials for them before exams. I felt like I made a difference.
Why/how did you choose Bilkent? / What do you like the most about being at Bilkent?
Bilkent students are really smart, curious and respectful – they’re the perfect audience for me. I also really like the opportunities given to us by the library.
What projects are you working on currently?
I’m currently writing a book on the topic “Smart Contracts” in order to apply to the Interuniversity Board for promotion to the rank of associate professor.
What’s your best work?
It’s the work that I haven’t accomplished yet – I’m always trying to do better each time.
What excites you about your work? / What’s the coolest thing about your work?
Learning new things every day – not only about law, but also about technological advances, psychology, economics, etc. I also have to add, I find it really cool to be surrounded by my students.
Could you share a turning point or defining moment in your career?
I had to wait for almost two years before I had the chance to start my career as a research assistant at Ankara University. Finding a position and being accepted there was a turning point in my career.
What has been the most exciting moment of your career so far?
Defending my PhD thesis in front of professors whom I respected so much.
What’s one piece of information from your field that you think everyone should know?
Law isn’t static; you need to keep up with the changes.
When and where do you do your best thinking?
Early mornings in my office, with a cup of tea.
What distracts you?
Phone calls and social media.
What are you most curious about?
I’m very curious about how our lives will change in the next five years.
What’s the most common misconception about your work?
The most common misconception is that as academics we have flexible, easy schedules. That’s not true. We’re able to work everywhere and all the time, so we carry our work with us wherever we go.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I really like catching up with my friends and cooking dinner for them, as well as spending quality time with my little son.
Which books have influenced you the most, and why?
There are lots of books that fall into that category, but one I read recently and have recommended to my students is “Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One” by Raphaëlle Giordano.
If you hadn’t become a professor, what career would you have chosen?
I really liked learning languages, so I wanted to be a simultaneous interpreter.
What’s the secret to leading a happy life?
What makes me happiest is the love I have for my family, friends and colleagues, and being loved in return.
If you could go back to your undergraduate/graduate student years, what advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself that although something might seem terrible at first glance, it could actually turn out very well for you. So it’s best to avoid the drama and patiently accept what comes across your path so that you can focus on the positive side.