Tuesday, March 29, 2011

From Bologna back to Istanbul

Efsane Aşkin is proof that there is no typical SAIS alumnus.

A Turkish citizen, Efsane studied at the Bologna Center after doing her undergraduate work in the United States. As she recounts in the video below, she took advantage of what she learned at SAIS to carve out a career as an entrepreneur in her home country.

Efsane discusses at some length the textile business that she runs in Istanbul and explains how her understanding of trade helped her stand out in a very competitive industry. As if to prove that monetary matters do not take a back seat to trade at SAIS, she even notes that with a weakening U.S. dollar, her business in Europe has grown. Her clients include some of the biggest names in fashion.

What Efsane does not discuss -- as much out of modesty as for lack of time -- is that she also has a chain of 14 award-winning restaurants spread out in five countries.

In her spare time, Efsane runs the Johns Hopkins alumni chapter in Turkey, a responsibility that brought her back to Bologna this past weekend.

A SAIS degree can prepare you for a wide range of careers. Not everyone has Efsane's entrepreneurial flair. But as she herself notes, the Bologna Center experience very much helped her on her way.

Nelson Graves

1 comment:

Ihssane said...

Very nice and inspiring to see a successful entrepreneur emerge out of Johns Hopkins' IR program. The sky seems to be the limit in terms of what students can do with the SAIS experience.

I'm definitely anxiously awaiting the committee's decision in the next weeks...