Selen Öztürk – A Success Story
Selen Öztürk applied for the Master of Laws: Advanced Studies Programme in European and International Business Law 2009–2010. This coincided with the newly negotiated Garantibank Scholarships for young Turkish nationals wishing to study European Business Law at Leiden Law School.
Mr. Bahadir Ateş, CEO of Garantibank International N.V. (“GBI”) since 2000, and Professor Carel Stolker, Dean of the Law School of Leiden University, signed in Istanbul, Turkey on 24 November 2008, a contract in which scholarship funds provided by GBI will be awarded to three promising students from Turkey for the coming three years. Starting academic year 2009 - 2010.
Selen was one of the lucky recipients of the very first cohort of three Turkish students to receive this prestigious scholarship award. Of course this meant that there was a lot of hard work ahead for the three recipients of the scholarships. Mr. Ateş was a keen follower of the students and made sure that they kept on track and had regular meetings with the students to help them with their studies and also to feel at home in The Netherlands.
Not only did Selen graduate in September 2010 with “cum laude” (“honours”) but also she graduated as the class Valedictorian. Selen wanted to repay the kindness of Garantibank for their scholarship and help and decided in order to do this she should apply for a job with Garantibank. Her excellent academic performance prompted Garantibank, Turkey to offer Selen a job at their Head Office in Istanbul. Regardless of the scholarship, this was not an automatic job offer for Selen, she had to go through the same application procedures as any other job applicant.
In the words of Selen “I am working for Garantibank as a full time attorney and an in-house counsel. Specifically, I work at the Head Office located in Istanbul and at the legal department situated therein.
On a day to day basis, I undertake many tasks for the bank. But my core job role revolves around giving opinions to branches (there are more than 900 branches of Garantibank all over Turkey) and the departments of the Bank on legal issues. Moreover, I assist preparing and checking the legality of contracts entered into by the bank both in English and Turkish. Additionally, we prepare guidelines for the Bank on current legal developments.”
Selen is indeed a success story which we hope will be repeated with the other Garantibank scholarship cohorts.