Ten Questions

March 13, 2012 12:02 pm

Ten Questions - Nakiye Boyacigiller

Nakiye Boyacigiller is dean of Sabanci University School of Management in Turkey, a position she has held since 2003. Prior to this, she worked at San José State University in the US.

Prof Boyacigiller grew up in the US, France and Turkey. She has an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and a PhD from the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business.

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Ten Questions

In her spare time, Prof Boyacigiller enjoys long walks, concerts and supporting non-governmental organisations.

Prof Boyacigiller will be available for a live web chat on T hursday, 15th March 2012, between 14.00-15.00 GMT. Post your questions now to ask@ft.com

1. When did you know you wanted to be dean of a business school?

Like many of my business school dean friends, I did not plan to be a dean. However, when I was asked to become the dean of the business school at Sabanci University, I viewed it as an incredible opportunity, since it was only four years old at the time and there was a chance to make a difference.

2. What do you enjoy most about your job?

Helping develop people and celebrate the achievements of my faculty and students - I am one who actually enjoys graduation ceremonies.

3. What is the average day of a dean like?

Almost non-stop meetings! If you don’t enjoy working with people, don’t even think of being a dean.

4. What is the best piece of advice given to you by a teacher?

Don’t say yes, unless you really want to do something. The 10 minutes of discomfort you will feel while saying no beats the hours of misery you will feel if you say yes for the wrong reasons.

5. What advice would you give to women in business?

Never believe that you have less to contribute then men or bring less to the table. Never think you have to make a choice between having a family and having a career.

6. How do you deal with male-dominated environments?

First and foremost be myself. I believe that the best way I can make a meaningful contribution is by bringing my entire self to any work situation. My education, my bi-cultural background and the fact that I am a woman, all of these influence how I approach situations, depending on the problem at hand. Also, I treat everyone with respect and expect the same from others.

7. What is the last book you read?

Timur Kuran’s The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East

8. What are your future plans?

Who knows? I honestly am working too hard to give it that much thought. Luckily, I get to go on sabbatical when my deanship is up. I will figure out the next stage of my life then. But while I will undoubtedly continue at the Sabanci School of Management, I also expect to get even more involved with NGOs, working to empower women in Turkey and around the world.

9. If you could do it all again, what would you do differently?

Make sure my research skills were impeccable. Publish more. Take dancing and singing lessons. Have another child (because the two I have turned out so great).

10. What is your life philosophy?

Work to make a difference. Treat all with kindness and respect. Show your love and appreciation for your family and friends. Embrace the joy in life.

Compiled by Charlotte Clarke

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