As a child growing up in Germany, born to first-generation immigrants - a Turkish dad and a Kurdish mom - I was exposed to multiple cultures, at a time when it unfortunately was not as readily embraced as today.
My earliest dreams for a career included being an ambulance driver- for the very noble reason of running the lights. By the age of 8, my dream job had shifted to being a heart surgeon. During my senior year in the US, I broke my left thumb in gym class. As I never regained my initial full motion again, I realized that it would not be the best condition, if you wanted to operate on somebody’s heart. It took me a few years to digest the fact that I would have to give up my childhood dream.
A leader, I looked up to, was the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Anan. As, my family always had a natural interest in politics and economics as well, due to the cultural background and socio-political circumstances, I decided to choose economics and politics as a path instead.
During college, I started working as a tutor for a small family-owned, local language school. At the height of the Syrian civil war, my work expanded, from initially tutoring students, to working with larger groups of refugees from the middle east, as well as northern and eastern Africa, essentially becoming a social worker. My intent was to work with the state, to support integrating them into the German society. It taught me a lot about life and its value, as I could, at least partially, see the world through the eyes of people with vastly different stories. It was an incredibly enriching, but also humbling experience. I can say first hand, that I am yet to meet a refugee who is not always grateful for the opportunity to have a safe haven.
The more I worked with them, the more I started realizing that for some of the people working in the system, refugees could become merely numbers and (sometimes difficult) tasks. If the soft- or hardware of a company does not work well, it can be a problem, but it is fixable. With refugees, it does not work like that. They are some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
As the system can be very static or slow, I knew it was not something I wanted to be part of, for the rest of my life. Over time, when I started to feel like I couldn’t change the system in any meaningful way, at least in the short to mid-term, I decided to try out a different path. As my manager and team have never been anything but kind and supportive to me, it was a difficult decision, but it still felt right.
Coincidently, only 1-2 weeks after discussing the decision with my family, a recruiter reached out to me on LinkedIn. She was curious about my background/education and asked if I was interested in a role in IT.
When I looked at how big IT companies like Infosys work, it made sense that they would need economists, psychologists, marketers, and experts from various fields, that might not necessarily be a part of computer science itself. So, when I came in for an interview with Infosys and understood the scope of the project that they were interviewing me for, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. It did not matter that I had no IT background; what mattered was passion and excitement for the opportunities. I was assured, that I would be taught the rest, as that is the Infosys philosophy.
I was convinced, excited, and willing to take a leap of faith. The role was in Düsseldorf, and I did not have to relocate. I got a call from Infosys on August 9, 2019, and I was an Infoscion on August 15, less than a week later.
It was a great experience working with my first manger and team. Even though I consider him a mentor, he does not let me call him “sir”. He says we’re brothers (what can I say, those are his actual words). That about sums up Infosys for me. A company that believes in fostering meaningful relationships with its employees.
Earlier this year, I moved to Infosys Consulting. It is a great fit for my background. And as the company is so large, there is always space and a role that might be just right for practically anyone. What more could one ask for?