An Interview with Hülya Kurt
by Berrin Demirezer (Turkey)
Who is Hülya Kurt?
I was born in Istanbul, grew up and received my education in Bremen, Germany. Have a brother who is four years younger. And I completed my high school education and returned to Istanbul, Turkey, with my family.
In your eyes, I see it as a process in which all the balance in your life changed, where you started most of the things from the very beginning and some of them closed, where you left off, but never from where you are…
The definition of changing balances remains rather simplistic here. I was 18 years old and my whole life, habits, everything that could come to mind had changed. Plus, when I applied to continue my education, I learned that I had to repeat the last year of high school, and Turkey did not accept my education in Germany as equivalence. I had a stressful time.
Now when you look back at that year of high school, what do you see?
It was a shock felt by the cultural difference, and I can say that although it was difficult for me to study in Turkey in the last year of high school, it calmed me down in terms of improving my Turkish, socialising and cultural harmony in school conditions.
High school is over, so what was next? Continuing education or start working?
I did not have a clear decision about getting a university education, at that time the university entrance exams were two-stage, I was going to take the exams, but I wanted to work in the process until the exams. After high school, I took a typing course and started looking for a job. I was always getting rejected from the places I met, because I had no experience.
So how did you find a job?
After a very tiring process, I started to work as a secretary in a patent and trademark agency in 1986. A small family business accepted me because a natural trait of mine became an advantage of them; I was using German and English as my mother tongue, this was an opportunity not to be missed for them.
What were your responsibilities? Can you tell us more about the Hulya at the workplace?
While I was continuing to do my job, my only focus was to increase my knowledge and skills. I was constantly asking questions, trying to understand the process and how they were done. After 3 months, I started to work at the second Bosphorus Bridge construction site. I was now experienced.
I think that your knowledge of the language and your diligence that you nourished with curiosity helped you get into this job.
Absolutely, conditions here were harsh. The construction site is in Kavacık, but it is a mountainous empty area, very far from the Kavacık life centre of that time. We started to work at 07:00 in the morning and until 7 PM in the evening, including Saturday. I was in a good mood. I worked, I learned and I earned money. Thanks to my supervisor Necla. She taught me a lot about administration and how to use office equipment’s such as fax, telex etc. that time.
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About Berrin Demirezer
Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC). Accomplished sales and marketing professional with 19 years of distinguished performance in the pharmaceutical industry. Experience in working at multi-national companies in impeccable compliance. Focused on personal and strategic development, core values, vision, and getting out of comfort zone.