Hello to everyone,

I graduated from our university in 2002 and applied to continue my graduate education in England. However, sine my application coincided with the horrible 9/11 incident, I have experienced difficulties obtaining a visa; thus I revised my plans and decided to continue my career in Turkey.

As soon as I made this decision, I joined a Web programming course to further develop my professional background. After a two months’ training period I started receiving job offers from numerous companies. In my opinion, choosing where to work is a critical decision. I tried to make a choice on the grounds of what would be most suitable for my career and started my professional life at Infotech IT and Communication systems. After a year I moved on to companies like Filika IT Systems, Pepsi Turkey and IBM Turk. I am still a member of the IBM Turk Consulting Services team.

Throughout my professional life I have been actively involved as a trainer and a programmer in numerous projects of prominent institutions like Turkcell, Arcelik, Ipragaz, Pepsi Cola, Is Bankası, Akbank, Koç Goup, ODTÜ KosGeb, Oracle Turkiye, Sun Microsystems Turkiye, IBM Turk. At the same time I had side occupations like columnist at IT Business magazine, instructor at Marmara and Sabancı Universities, and vice presidency at the Java Technologies Society.

Professional work life is nothing to be compared with student life. I sincerely believe that our university has provided us with an outstanding education. Throughout my professional career, I benefited from this education. However, the world outside is not like in school. I would like to suggest our students, especially seniors, to prepare themselves before they graduate. For example they should carefully choose their final projects and elective courses.

When it comes to interviews, I would like to advise to our students to have self confidence and to concentrate in one field. If what you want is to become a software specialist, prepare for it before the interview. Do a final project covering one of the most attractive fields in software development. Take a course, do some training -- believe me the rewards will be great. When you are face to face with an employer and are able to say "I want this job because I’ve done this and that and such research on this topic, give me the chance and you won’t be disappointed", then you have an excellent chance at the position.

If you do not have your own objectives and goals, no one will present you with an opportunity -- don’t forget this! Do not overvalue the salary you’ll get or the "name" of the company at your first job. Have a long-term plan and concentrate on the work itself. Calculate where you will be five years from now. Do not forget that we, the KHU Alumni, will be there to support and guide you. Go out and do your best to represent our university.

I wish all our graduates a happy, successful career...

Melih SAKARYA