Tell me a little bit about yourself and your career history.
I started my career in Turkey, which is my home country, at Johnson & Johnson as a sales clerk, where I worked with the sales team and sales managers, helping them with some reporting and forecasting. After this job, I got another job in a different field, in durable goods, where I was doing marketing. I had that job for 4 years, but later returned to pharma, and started working in a regional role in business intelligence. I started to do data management, leading market research projects and business forecasting for oncology, neurology, and fertility. After 2 years of working in Istanbul, my company sent me to Boston for a 1 year temporary assignment. After 6 months, they offered me a job as a senior manager in forecasting oncology, which I accepted and stayed in the US.
What was it like being given this temporary assignment, and making an international move to the US?
I was so excited to be promoted, and to come to the US. Growing up in Turkey, it was a very big deal to be able to move here. I didn’t grow up in a wealthy family - my father is a tailor and my mother is a homemaker. My family had to work so hard to ensure I was able to get an education, and everyone was so proud of me when I graduated from the top business school in Turkey. I have brought my parents to the US twice; I flew them to Boston this summer for a vacation, and they thought everything here was amazing. They met my friends here and saw the life I have built for myself, and they’re so proud of me. It feels so good to be able to give back to them.
What do you enjoy about your job now?
My first role was as a forecasting manager, but then I was promoted to be the Brand Insights Lead of oncology, where I do competitive intelligence and forecasting for an oncology product. I love my job, and it is very interesting – every day I handle a lot of business questions and I have to find answers to them. Every day I am learning new things and helping people with different insights. I feel like I get to solve puzzles every day, and each day is different. I love my company and the opportunities they have provided me are amazing.
What is it like to work on an international team?
It is amazing to work with experienced people who support me and help me all the time. I am from Turkey, and I can speak Turkish and English; and I understand German and a little bit of Spanish. I love to work in an international environment. I work with a global team and we are responsible for the US, Europe, Japan, and China. My team is incredibly diverse, and it’s interesting to see how our marketing strategies vary regionally and globally. It is very interesting working with different cultures and to learn about the market dynamics in each region and country. Everybody’s opinion is valued and given importance.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I were to give advice to my younger self, I would say to know myself better and to explore what kind of work I would enjoy. I wish I had explored a bit earlier. The job I am doing now is so much fun and it is very interesting – I wish I had started in this field even earlier. I would also suggest to my younger self to learn more about my interests and to learn about what makes me happy and to pursue my passions, and to not give up after disappointment. I love numbers and reading; I love learning new things each day, even when it is reading insight reports.
What are you most proud of?
I am so proud of the fact that I work in science and spend every day working to develop products that help cancer patients.