Who am I?
Self-awareness is a never-ending process which is between infinite and us. Socrates has a saying “Know thyself so you will know the universe” . This quota defines self-awareness process very well.
Of course, leaving philosophy behind, we define ourselves by our different identities. I am a food engineer with MBA working as a human resource professional. I am humanist, idealist, quality focused, environmentalist, Health and Safety expert (C Class), food expert (for court), management system auditor, married -with no child- woman. I ended up being a human resources professional because of my passion to contribute people’s career journeys for them to be able to discover and utilize their own potential. This is also my life goal, always upgrading myself and exploring my potentials.
I love being in nature, birdwatching, meeting with different people, learning about their cultures and discovering cities, reading philosophy & mythologies, practicing Reiki and self-improvement.
I was born in Gaziantep, one of the creative cities of gastronomy according to Unesco, in 1979 and have been living in Istanbul since I was 5. Passion for food is coming from the roots, so I have studied Food Engineering at Ege University.
My career started as a quality and food safety auditor in a Catering Company. I like to bring structure and processes to what I am doing, so I lead implementations and certifications for ISO 9001 Quality Management, ISO 22000 Food Safety Management, ISO 14001 Environmental Management, OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management, ISO 10002 Customer Satisfaction Management Systems. I thrive from exceptional success and honored to mention that ISO 22000 and ISO 10002 certifications were a first in the sector those times.
I have just started to look for other opportunities in other sectors, to develop myself more. Then the company was acquired by ISS at 2008, which is a global company, I was curious to see how it will be. I am glad I stayed and embraced it that time.
Shortly after I joined ISS, I was honored to be chosen as one of the participants of ISS Global Talent Management Program between 2009 – 2011, which gave me an international exposure and opened up opportunities to develop my global experiences. I was involved in Global Catering Core Team and contributed to talent work stream.
My manager trusted me when I told him that I can build microbiological laboratory within the company, it was unique in the sector that time. Actually, we had a very good education, thanks to Ege University Food Engineering faculty, enriched with lots of laboratory experiences, so I was pretty sure of myself. Then it really happened, first in a small container, arrived to the garden of the company HQ, midnight on April 1st, like a joke, then it developed into an accredited microbiological laboratory which we were able to use as a small business unit.
I became a manager quite early in my career and lead a team of auditors and HS Experts. I made so many mistakes especially in the beginning of my leadership journey because I really did not know how to lead. I know it is not fair, but I learned most of it from people in my team, it was quite a painful process both for them and me. I am thankful now that I was open to their feedback and really adapted my style. Due to the feedback that I get now, I really trust my leadership skills. I actually love to work with and through people and support their great qualities, develop them and see how they embrace their potentials.
One of the best things that I have done for my career was studying MBA. As an engineer, I found it very useful and learned quite a lot about finance, business strategy, marketing, economics, leadership, conflict management, performance management etc. I was graduated from University of Yeditepe with Honor Degree (2006 – 2008).
During MBA, I had the opportunity to apply my theses within the company’s performance appraisal processes. This opened a window to human resources, and I started to lead both human resources and food quality & excellence departments in the catering division. Later on, I studied Human Resources expertise in Bogazici University and I was again very lucky to be able to implement Talent Management theses in the company that enabled us to develop many valuable leaders.
At 2015, I came to a crossroads and I was asked to choose my direction of career, either quality & excellence or human resources. I have chosen human resources because of my passion to contribute people’s career journeys for them to discover and utilize their own potential.
Until 2018, I headed People and Culture Department in ISS Turkey. We were the 10th largest company in terms of number of employees. It has been an honor to reorganize and build the team from 25 people into 67. I was a part of transforming the organization by centralization of various functions & divisions into one. We restructured almost all divisions to improve collaboration and efficiency of the functions. I am very proud with my high performer team, we got many awards in diversity and inclusion, training and development areas internationally and locally. I was honored to be awarded Great in People and Culture Award by ISS in 2018.
I always wanted to have an international experience to test my skills in a multi culture and different environment. I got an offer, which I accepted gladly, to move to Copenhagen and join Global Operations P&C to business partner Global Banking customers. It has been quite a learning opportunity which was surprisingly good fit to develop some very crucial processes, implementing significant global projects within Banking segment. After 2 years, I was appointed to lead Global Operations Group Functions and still doing my best to create value within ISS.