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I'm a 32-year-old engineer who wants to inspire young women to discover what they really want. I completed my Bachalor's degree at Electrical Engineer Major, Istanbul Technical University and Master's degree at the same school and at the same major. Now it has been 7.5 years of experience in total, 4 years of Sales and 2.5 years of Project Management in the Energy Sector. You can ask me what ever you want about everything. I always wanted to be an architect until I was told it paid less. When I was in senior year in high school what I wanted most was to be an industrial designer. I got this idea from the elder ones who said that I would be paid well while designing. With the test I took (here in Turkey it is a must), I won an electrical engineering major. When I look at what I was dreaming and what I became now, it looks strange. I really feel sorry that I had no one who could have inspired and guided me respecting what I really wanted and my skills. Instead, I had closed-minded unhappy men who wished for more respect and money at their own jobs or people who measure success with the school name or your major. That's why, now I want to inspire young women to be aware of themselves and follow their dreams by combining their skills. On April 17th, I'll make a speech in Istanbul Technical University where I graduated to the Women in Engineering initiative of IEEE. I hope I'd inspire them as Debbie Sterling did her audience in the TEDx event. I'm really happy to be part of this community. Don't forget to have fun :)
Istanbul Technical University, M.Sc. Engineering 2009 Istanbul Technical University, B.S. Engineering 2005
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as a sponsor or coach for an engineering club or team.
  • I am willing to host a field trip to my place of employment.
  • I am willing to be contacted about potential job shadowing by interested students.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by MSc. ASLI ÖZKARA

Hi Prachi,
I'm glad to see a young woman who prefers to become an engineer.
I do not believe that a major can find people a (better) job.
People themselves can seek for opportunities and success.
Let me give you some ideas what can you do after graduate from instrumentation and electrical engineering.
They both have programming languages included. You can use whatever you want (C++, matlab..)
If you graduate from instrumentation engineering, you can work as operation, maintenance, purchasing engineer in the power plants, industrial places, wherever a process is implemented. Or, you can work at manufacturers, distributers, contractors to sell or operate the products or the systems or you can work at the R&D department.
When it comes to electrical engineering, you also can work at the same places I mentioned above. Where your interest may be more on bigger systems such as High/Medium/Low Voltage Systems, Low Current Systems, Power Generation etc.
You can also work at operational/maintenance, purchasing, R&D, sales or project management.
I am probably missing some other sectors or areas that you can work.
But sum of all, there are lots of opportunities waiting for you in both professions.
I can suggest you to be the best in whatever you choose.
Best wishes.

9 years.
Generally yes, sometimes no. Just like everyone ;)
No, I'm just going to my job and continue my social life. But the working mums should be :)

Dear Subodh,

It is very clever that change your major when you lost your interest about it. And also it is very brave :) I'm sorry to tell you that I do not have experience and knowledge about IT sector and programming. If you choose Electronics according to your job description you may not need hard core programming skills. Nowadays, in companies, they use software for lots of tasks. You can ask your question to an Electronic Engineers who works in  different areas. I can not tell much because I'm an Electrical Engineer who works in Energy Sector :)

Let me know about your final decision.

Kind Regards.


Dear Intan,

When you ask me to tell you which Major/Job is suitable for Women, I'll answer that it depends on each person. Some become an artist, some musician, some engineer, some doctor etc. Please forget about the imposition of the society about who can do what ;) Just try to figure out how you'll be happy. For example, I love challenges and changes. Routine is not my thing. So as Electrical Engineer, I am not in the Design department but managing High Voltage Substations in Iraq. I understand that you are a hard working and a smart girl, you can be whatever you want.

Keep me informed about your choices.

Kind Regards. 

Hi Amanda,

I understand your situation very well. My favorite course was Biology in high school. I was fascinated during the teacher was speaking; I was very interested about the subjects and read and investigate more at home. On the contrary, at the exams I get the worst grades from Biology where my other grades were very good (except history:) ).

To be interested in a subject is not same with memorize it with the all details. Yes, we are smart people; we understand everything we read at once. But, when it comes to the exams, we get bored and stressed memorizing all the details and old Latin names. In addition, even if we do not realize, our subconscious do not appreciate the value of memorizing, we are only read for fun and learn. So, it is not that you are not good at reading or other things.

It is same for the drawing, if you have a talent to draw a straight line, you can always be good at drawing by working hard. I suppose you are not that passionate about drawing like me.

I also like drawing when I'm bored during long meetings :) But, I have never dedicated myself to drawing. It would be always nice to use your skills in your daily job.

When it comes to Math, you will never ever found a major that is easy to complete :) You are a smart young girl who can analyze herself and take the right decisions. With hard working I am sure that you can finish your courses. When I was at college, I had study groups for every course. Even I cannot understand a subject; there were one friend who can overcome it. If we all did not understand it, with the connections of the group members, we found someone who understood it or we go to the lecturers to ask them to explain us again.

Let me tell you about the working life. When you become a civil engineer, you will not deal with any math 4 operations. All the designs are done by the special programs and tools but you will understand how it is calculated and which variations are important during the civil design.

I would be glad if you keep me updated about you and you can always ask about anything.

Kind regards.