Monday, May 31, 2010

Entry 3: Week 2 at Bilkent

Hello all,
Things are just moving along here. The professor I will be doing research for arrived last week and I have been helping her with inputting grades since it is the end of the semester here. I will start research this week or something. I am also doing some work for the dean and for other staff. This week I will help out with admissions for the business graduate programs. So, since I am doing work for a few different people, I am definitely staying busy. I am enjoying the work that I am doing because I am learning a little bit about everything within higher education, which is providing me with a different perspective on the field overall. I am looking forward to my work this week to learn more about the admissions process and to start research.

Besides that, I am pretty comfortable with transportation and getting around, but I need to work on speaking the language. There are Turkish classes that start next week and I would like to go to them because it is hard for me to order food and say basic stuff, and I would like to be able to communicate better with others who do not speak any English. I also would like to make some friends but it is hard because I work alone in my own office and the students are done with school (plus my work does not involve them).

But, this past weekend, I went to Istanbul and met up with some UM friends that were studying abroad in Europe as well as some Turkish UM alum. We had a great time. Istanbul is a beautiful city with tons to do, but it takes a long time to get anywhere so we spent alot of the weekend just trying to get to where we wanted to go.

That's about it for now. Let me know if you have any questions.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Entry 2: Week 1 at Bilkent

Hello all,
I am finishing up my first week of work at the Bilkent University Business School (Işletme Fakultesi).The apartment I live at is about 30 minutes from Bilkent, however, it is approximately a 40 minute bus ride to and from the bus stop. The closest bus stop to my apartment is a 10 minute walk (up and down many hills at that, I am beginning to appreciate the flatness of Ann Arbor). I am still getting used to the public bus system (separate from the Bilkent bus system). I work from about 930 AM-530 PM. The people here are very friendly and most of the faculty, staff, and students speak English. So, as I said, I am here to do primarily research and general office work. The research professor is out of the country until next week, so this week I have been focusing on administrative work and my job tasks will alter next week when she returns. I was given my own office to work in, which is a plus, however, it is a floor below my superiors so I am a little isolated. One of my bosses said that it is okay for me to audit some of Bilkent's summer classes, which start in June, so I will probably take a Turkish class. Besides that, I am enjoying the food, the tea, and the people. Yesterday was a national holiday called World Youth Day so nobody had work or classes, so I had a nice day off. Ankara is a beautiful city, which I believe involves the fact that there are many hills meaning that there is usually a good view wherever you go. There are many shopping malls here, too. On one street, there are 2 complete malls right next to each other (and one or two more along the same road just in different places). Kinda funny. That's about it for now, I will write more next week. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's almost here!

Hello, my name is Emily Reimann. I have just completed my first year at UM. Although I am currently without a major, I am considering Linguistics and possibly Math and/or Computer Science. This summer, I will be interning at Girişim Factoring in Istanbul, Turkey. I am really looking forward to this internship for many reasons. First, I have never been to another continent. This will quickly change because I will be living in the Anatolia, the Asian side of Turkey, and working in Thrace, the European side. Second, I am very interested in experiencing another culture. Third, my previous work experiences are all very similar. This internship is completely different from anything I have ever done, and I'm excited to use the skills I have to be productive in other workplaces.

I depart June 2. It will be my first international flight. My return is scheduled for August 18. The internship itself is from June 7 - August 15. During these 11 weeks I'm hoping also to do some traveling/sight-seeing. Even though it's two weeks away, I'm ready to go! If only my suitcase would pack itself...

Sunday, May 16, 2010


My name's Ben Charoenwong, and I'm studying Economics, Statistics, and Financial Mathematics at UM. I'll be working at Steelcase in KL with Ishaan in the Finance department. The thing that excites me the most about this program is entering a culture I've never lived in before (though I've stayed in south east Asia before, just not Malaysia.) It'll be a great learning experience, taste Asian food (again! I've missed it so), and also to enter the workforce and learning the practical skills, acquiring priceless tools that will come in handy in dealing with people from this culture, but also the technical tools to excel in any setting.

I am very relieved that the school year has ended. Freshman year was harder than I thought, but one thing's for sure: I love college! Anyway, after finals and moving into my new apartment in AA, I flew to Singapore to visit my family for a bit. We're Thai, though my parents teach in Singapore now. It's changed dramatically. I missed Asia quite a bit. 1. Being the majority again is nice. 2. Food is incredible! But there are some down sides as well: 1. Did not miss the absence of common courtesy (but it's just a cultural difference). 2. Not too fond of the fact that I'm never dry. After I shower, I start sweating immediately.

I'll be leaving for KL June 5th, to settle down there and set up with my friend living in Petaling Jaya. It's quite far from the Steelcase office in Midvalley, but quite manageable. There's the subway I could take to work everyday that drops me off very close to the office. The office is also very close to a big shopping center, hopefully it'll be a very interesting 2 months! I'm looking forward to that, but at the moment I'm also meeting up with old friends who've rendezvoused here in Singapore. It's great to see old friends again. After graduating high school we've dispersed all over the US and the rest of the world (though primarily US).

ANOTHER thing I love about coming back to Asia is that the drinking age is 18. I can legally drink here. Not to say that I'll overindulge of course! For the time being, it is visiting family and friends, and then work will start June 7th. Until then, it's chill time. Singapore's changed a lot since I've last seen it. It's becoming such a "developed" country. The big shopping district, Orchard Road, has been renovated and rejuvenated, with millions of people bustling along it everyday. Everything is so new and grand, and the new malls are posh. They're obviously targeting people with money, mostly teenagers and expats. Unfortunately, most of my friends fall into the latter category, and fall victim to the marketing schemes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

entry 1

Hi-My name is Sarah Casinelli. I am a psychology student and I just finished my junior year. I will be interning at Bilkent University Business School in Ankara, Turkey this summer. I will work in the business school office and I will also help do research in organizational behavior. I think this will be a good experience for me because I want to pursue a career in higher education. I am leaving in about a week and will start work on May 17th and work through July 16th. I will write again during my first week of work.