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Dilara Oguz

Nationality: Turkish
Age: 25
Last job title: Radio frequency design engineering for defence industry
Previous degree: MSc in electronics engineering from Bilkent University in Ankara

Dilara Oguz

1. Why did you choose RSM for your MBA?

“I always wanted an international experience in Europe, and the Netherlands is known to welcome everybody. RSM is one of the top schools with a wide alumni network. I knew it would be diverse and international, and that I’d be working with people from various origins and age groups. I felt like I’d be very happy here and would find myself.”

2. What has been the most challenging assignment or activity?

“I’m an engineer and have a technical perspective. That’s why I wanted to broaden my soft skills, especially in subjects like sustainability. I like clear and factual things. But I soon learned that developing soft skills isn’t like that at all! You have to discuss and analyse other perspectives, comment and elaborate on them, and create your own perspective. This was challenging, I wasn’t used to this. But I’m managing it really well so far. I used to like writing essays and critical analysis. So this was beneficial; it has broadened my perspectives.”

3. How has the Personal Leadership Development programme affected you?

“I’m more aware of my leadership style, personality, and how I approach issues now. By knowing myself better, I’m learning how I tend to compromise, compete or avoid doing certain tasks. I learned how I can improve and what I want to become. Also, I always get feedback from my teammates and this helps my improvement a lot.”

4. Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within global teams?

“It’s pretty obvious and I was not expecting that actually. For example, In India people tend to avoid conflicts, while in Taiwan people tend to compromise. We hadn’t realised the cultural backgrounds affected us this much at the beginning of teamwork. But once we understood how we behaved and how we could work together to improve this to get to the best result, we managed each other very well and learned a lot from each other.”

5. Can you define the 'RSM MBA experience'?

“All days at RSM are hectic and dense. But I’m really liking it; it’s a very international environment with great and helpful people who smile all the time and willing to help each other. I’m learning a lot, and feel that I’m contributing to the world and becoming a better person. At RSM, everything is very professional and genuine. And faculty members make sure you understand everything about the core of the subject and they also connect with you. This is unique about RSM.”

6. Is there something you wish you knew before coming to RSM?

“I had no management experience and was afraid I’d be the only person in class with a technical background. I’m the youngest in class but now realise this isn’t a drawback but actually a plus for me. For example, I understand things better and faster. My critical and analytical thinking skills are also an advantage from my previous experience. With help from my classmates I’m quickly learning the fields that I don’t have a previous experience with. It’s a very exciting time.”

7. How do you feel about living in Rotterdam?

“I’m loving it. For me, Rotterdam is the most beautiful city in the Netherlands. I like city life, the lively skyline, and the beautiful river and bridges. Also, everything is easily accessible. With all the restaurants in the city, I can experience difference cuisines and cultures. And Amsterdam is just over half an hour away so that’s great too.”

8. How do you plan to be a force for positive change?

“My I WILL statement is ‘I WILL be a better self every day, and help others invoke their potential’. So my goal is defining a positive change. I believe in self-improvement every day; every morning you can choose to stay the same or improve yourself. I want to help people discover their own talents. Positive change starts within yourself and spreads to the people around.”

9. After the full-time MBA, what does the future hold?

“I want to be a project manager in an international company in the Netherlands connecting people and seeing the whole picture when I’m dealing with a project. I want to learn and be challenged every day, and solve conflicts. I see myself doing something good for the world and my dream is hosting a TED talk one day. Either way, I plan to combine my technical experience and analytical thinking with the MBA experience, probably in the technology industry again, but we’ll see.”