Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

I thought I was going to be the first writer to post on this blog and reveal myself as the overachieving (ha!) nerd that I am. Thankfully, my dear colleague Miss Nowack has taken that honor. Rio sounds like it’s going to be a great experience, and I can’t wait to read the updates!

When we were applying for international residency projects, I surprised my friends by ranking Turkey as my first choice. Turkey and I were an unexpected pairing, for mostly two reasons:

1. I knew very little about Istanbul, Turkey, beyond what The Four Lads taught me. “Istanbul was Constantinople. Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople.”

2. One of our clients for the Turkey IRP is the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) and each of our projects has a distinct finance focus. There are four assignments: positioning Istanbul as a financial center, expanding the investor base in the capital markets of Turkey, analyzing the interaction between cash and derivative markets, and demutualization and privatization of the ISE. To say I have a finance background is a very, very generous statement. I didn’t know how to turn on a calculator until my first accounting final.

Actually, those two reasons were exactly why I ranked Turkey first. The international residency project gives us an opportunity to visit, explore, and work in an environment many of us would otherwise rarely experience. And I came to business school to be challenged and pushed, and above all, to learn. As cliché as that sounds, it’s true (who’s the nerd now?).  So yes, I signed on for the project I am probably least qualified for. Let the adventure begin!

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