Conversations with Turkey's Career Pioneers - Tolga Egemen

This week’s guest on Career Pioneers Talk was former Garanti Bank Vice Executive Director Mr. Tolga Egemen. Egemen, who started his talk by introducing himself, said that he planned to complete his education at METU Mechanical Engineering department, to which he was admitted after graduating from TED Ankara College, in 5 years. He underlined the importance of always setting realistic goals for oneself. He said that his reading habit started in his childhood years, and that as he read throughout the years he noticed how much there was that he did not know. He suggested that students read “Tutunamayanlar” by Oğuz Atay. He said that during his years at university, he completed an internship at a wagon factory, which was a good experience. He told students that, upon graduating, he started working at Interbank and in the first 4 years he worked from 8 to 9 with no leave time. He said that with this hard work, he became a manager at Garanti Bank at the age of 26 and was promoted to Executive Vice President at the age of 30. When he was 42, he decided to quit corporate life.

Mr. Egemen told students that;
• giving their full attention to everything they do is important
• by using our minds we can challenge things forced upon us and notice that they are not true
• success valued by inner piece is more important than success valued by money
• life is not made only of black and white, but that there are greys also
• they should be ready for disappointments
• nothing is good or bad on its own
• life cannot be controlled or planned
• the best goal for oneself is to do one’s best
• one should distinguish between what’s under one’s control and what’s not, and not to waste energy on the ones that are not.

Mr. Egemen, who is currently lecturing at Izmir University of Economics and Bilkent University, answered questions about why he quit corporate life, if he would quit, if he had not reached his position, and how he advanced in his career so quickly without a degree in banking.