Izzet Kebudi, SEAS ‘19

September 04, 2018

As a Columbia student, how do you see the role of Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul in facilitating global programs in Turkey and in the region?

I think our Global Center has a vital role in connecting the students across different educational programs and also introducing them to Columbia’s wide alumni network through the events and global programs they organize.

Most of the students begin their undergraduate education with an interest in their major, but not exactly with the knowledge of a career path they can utilize the skillset they gain at Columbia. By meeting like-minded peers and professionals, we have the opportunity to realize what professional areas we can pursue. These connections CGC | Istanbul built, helped me find the right mentors who guided my experience both on campus and professionally.

İzzet Kebudi

How do you see Columbia programs in Istanbul contributing to the overall learning experience of a Columbia student?

I think there are two key ways Columbia programs bolster our learning. Firstly, by the pure context of the programs we attend, we observe global issues from varying perspectives and see the issues’ connection to Turkey and the surrounding area. Context can help us directly with our studies if our research materials are relatable, but it also helps us indirectly by informing us on how to analyze global issues and how to synthesize the facts.

Secondly, I think the majority of Columbia programs carry a social significance as it brings students from different classes together. These connections lead to collaboration and to the building of a support network across our Turkish society. I can personally attest to this significance of the programs through the engineering projects I worked on with the classmates I met through the Global Center programs and the mentorship I received from my Turkish upperclassmen.

How impactful was your experience at Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul to your career and/or academic objectives?

Short answer is extremely.

I met many of my upperclassmen friends through the Global Center. On my first week at Columbia, Omer Alaettinoglu (SEAS ’16) and Saygin Yildirim (SEAS ’18) sat down with me to talk about a club they were involved in, Columbia Financial Investment Group (CFIG). By entering this club, I was introduced to the sector I plan to start my career at.

Through their significant help, as well as that many other Turks, notably Emre Garih (SEAS ‘18), I learned how to search for a job in the U.S. and how to build the right skill set and connections to find an internship. Thanks to many of my mentors’ guidance, I was able not just to pass my challenging courses, but also prepare myself for professionally enriching experiences.

Izzet Kebudi

What is your most memorable moment at Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul or Columbia University?

My most memorable memory at Columbia University was the time I ran for the Engineering School’s University Senate seat.

I had wonderful moments at all Global Center events, where I met many kind and supportive peers and upperclassmen whom mean so much to me. However, at this particular race I mentioned, I saw all these friends I met helping me campaign and also rally their friends to support me. With their help, I was able to win a four-way race, which later meant a lot for my Columbia experience as I worked to tackle the issues facing our campus.

Izzet Kebudi is a senior at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, majoring in Operations Research. He is an incoming investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley, at the Global Power and Utilities Group. Izzet currently is the Columbia Engineering Senior Class President and he was the past SEAS Senator. On the University Senate, Izzet served on the Executive Committee, was the Vice Chair of the Student Affairs Committee and served on the Education Committee and the Commission on Diversity. He has worked on a number of issues of concern to students. Most recent projects he worked on includes reclassifying Economics as a STEM major, redesigning Lerner Hall, producing & presenting 2017/18 Student Quality of Life Survey and organizing the first Inter-Ivy League International Students Conference. Izzet was President of the Columbia Turkish Students Association and the Vice President of the Columbia Financial Investment Group. Izzet was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, where he worked with the Coksev Foundation for Children with Cancer, organizing summer camps and extracurricular activities.