Everyone can get new insights for themselves and their organization
After studying Chemical Engineering Burak Yalabik decided to start the M.A./MBA (USA)- program at SIBE in 2018. His affiliated company over the course of the studies is Ensinger GmbH. At the company he is responsible for establishing and developing the business in Turkey.
Dear Burak, can you briefly start by telling in which company you currently work? When did you start there and what are your tasks?
I have been working at Ensinger for one and a half years now. I started SIBE’s M.A./MBA (USA)- program at the same time. At Ensinger, I am responsible for the whole Turkish market and I report directly to the headquarters in Nufringen.
Ensinger has done business in Turkey for more than 20 years now, via local importers. I am the first employee of Ensinger’s own department in Turkey. Here I work as a Business Development Manager. My initial task was analyzing the Turkish market in detail and developing the most profitable business strategy. The next step will be establishing that business strategy. My main tasks apart from that include generating new business opportunities and increasing the existing business all over Turkey.
What makes it exciting for you to work for Ensinger?
I have been working in the plastics sector for more than five years now. Ensinger is a very well-known company in the Turkish technical plastics industry. I also knew, and used Ensinger technical documents as a reference to improve my knowledge in plastics. So for me that is one reason that makes it exciting to work at Ensinger. Another one and probably the largest is my task at Ensinger, as I am responsible for establishing Ensinger’s entity in Turkey on my own. Building the subsidiary in my country overall is very exciting. This company will be my child, and I am looking forward to growing it. I am very happy to take on this challenge at Ensinger.
Why did you decide to combine full-time work abroad with work-integrated studies?
Since I completed my bachelor’s studies in Chemical Engineering in 2010, I thought about conducting an MBA program to improve my business knowledge. At the time I got to a point, where I thought, that I had enough experience in production, R&D and sales I started to search for suitable MBA programs. During that period, SIBE contacted me and offered the exciting opportunity of the M.A./MBA (USA)- program parallel to working at Ensinger. I felt very lucky to receive an offer to complete two master’s programs at the same time that are directly related to my job in the company. The possibility to apply theory into reality is an elusive advantage of this program. I immediately decided to start.
How important is the formation of a professional international network during your studies? How do you benefit from the M.A./MBA (USA)- program in terms of building your network?
When I started this program and job, I was alone in Turkey. Since then, l had a great chance to work in an international company. Here, I get many important advices from managers of other Ensinger entities worldwide. Furthermore, there are also six SIBE M.A./MBA (USA)- students, who work at Ensinger. This is a great benefit, because we can help each other with our tasks at Ensinger and at SIBE. The international structure of the M.A./MBA (USA)- program and having peers work in different sectors and companies are additional great advantages to widen my perspective. It supports me, in understanding different education systems and concepts.
You´re near the end of the program now, how do you manage to organize yourself and combine your work with your study program?
To be honest, it was a tough period so far. Candidates who think about doing a master’s program while working, have to know this: you have to sacrifice your time to be successful. However, two years is not too long to focus only on work and study, if you think about how it adds value to your abilities and prepares you for a bright future.
I started studying at SIBE and working at Ensinger together and I knew what was awaiting me. My managers at Ensinger also informed me about, how tough the two years can get. In SIBE’s study concept, it is easier to combine full-time work and studies, because my studies are entirely related to my work which means I don’t need to study something irrelevant to my work, but something applicable. Ensinger is a really relevant part of my studies as well, they allow me to spend time for my studies, whenever I need it.
Lastly, I informed my family and friends about how the two years will look like. I already apologized from the beginning as well. Thanks to their help and understanding, I can work in line with my schedule.
Summarized, being prepared for this period with my family is one of the key factors for me while organizing myself. In practice, I prepare monthly and weekly timelines according to tasks that I have at SIBE and Ensinger. And I work in line with these timelines without any excuse.
In which ways would you say your studies at SIBE benefit you the most? To whom would you recommend this program?
As I mentioned before, I had experience in technical departments like production and R&D before starting at Ensinger. I knew how to be a technical person. With the help of SIBE’s program, I learned how to combine the technical side and the commercial side and that a good manager is required to look at topics from different perspectives while making decisions.
Furthermore, I met many people from different countries. Although I haven’t met with them face to face, I had the chance to share my ideas, culture and experiences, as well as learning about theirs. Besides becoming friends, I think learning from my classmates is one of the most important benefit for me.
This program is suitable for all departments of all kinds of companies. Everyone can get new insights for themselves and their organization. My suggestion is to start this program after having first experiences in business life. Having business experience makes it easy to understand topics mentioned in the program. You can also find solutions to questions from your previous experience. Knowing time-management, professional communication style and working life additionally is important to get out all the benefits from the program.
In your opinion; What should modern managers take out of the program to be best prepared for their tasks?
Modern managers should initiate projects in their companies. Hence they should know about methods of project management, from initiation phase to completion of the project. Furthermore, people management and financial management during projects are important concepts that managers can take out of the program. For their daily business, they should also understand and interpret data, to give direction to a company for all departments like finance, human resources, technical, marketing, business development, logistics and sales. A skill, they can learn within the program at SIBE.
Do you have tips for people who are considering applying for the M.A./MBA(USA)- program?
They should know that they will start an exciting program that requires much effort and patience. It is a great advantage, if they are open-minded, creative and curious. Furthermore, they should be prepared, knowing, that learning in online programs is different than formal education programs. They will mostly learn by themselves which requires much more reading, research, time and self-organization.