Sedar Basara

Program: MBA
Graduated: 1999
From: Turkey
Current Position: President,
Former Position: Asset Management Analyst, Goldman Sachs Japan

I still remember the nice Autumn day in 1997, when I got off the Shinkansen in Urasa and whispered to myself, “Thank my God for this opportunity.”
I had a clear goal in my mind. Receiving my MBA, finding a job with a reputable company, and building a meaningful career. Having a mechanical engineering degree from Bogazici University gave me competitive analytical skills. I thought an MBA would give me necessary fundamental business skills to have a successful international business career.
In 1997, GSIM’s MBA program was really exceptional. The courses were taught by excellent professors. Case studies and real life examples strengthened theoretical knowledge.
After graduation, I joined Goldman Sachs Asset Management in Tokyo. I didn’t have enough experience to fully service Japanese institutional clients. However, strategic thinking, financial and statistical analysis, and IT skills, which I gained at IUJ, helped me make some immediate contribution to the team. After six months, I was able to contribute to strategic planning for new business initiatives.
What I learned at IUJ helped me in my entrepreneurial experience as well. Decision making, legal risk management, accounting and tax knowledge are very important to start and run a business.
For the achievement of my initial goal, namely finding a job with a reputable company, commitment to job search is necessary. IUJ’s Career Services had been a great support during this tough assignment. Resume sessions, 1-to-1 consultations and campus visits by companies were really helpful. As a result, I had two summer internships in Tokyo with a trading company (Sogoshosha) and foreign IT company.
In addition to the courses and career support, being in a class with excellent friends from over 40 countries itself was an exceptional experience.
Having lived in Japan since 1997, I am very glad to see that IUJ has evolved as a model institution for Japanese business and academic world.
In Japanese, there is a saying which can be interpreted as “Don’t forget your starting point and intention!” (Shoshin wo wasurezu). So, from time to time, I still visit our campus, as well as wonderful mountains and lakes nearby, to energize myself and to have wonderful new starts.