2 Nisan 2011 Cumartesi

Young Turkish students make a change with internship program


Photo: 805 students applied to the Cocoon Project, and 118 students were selected to participate in the project.

The International Investors Association, or YASED, has organized internships for 118 university students from various Anatolian cities in order to “make a change” in their lives and in the lives of others. For the second time, leading companies have provided one-month internships to students from Anatolia, with students who finished the pilot program presented with completion certificates at a closing ceremony in Istanbul Friday.

YASED, a non-profit, private-sector organization whose members include companies such as Allianz Insurance, Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, Hugo Boss textile, Johnson and Johnson, Mercedes Benz, Microsoft Turkey, Nestle Turkey, Sabancı Holding Vodofone, Ülker and many others participated in the “Koza Projesi” (Cocoon Project) which provides high ranking students a chance to work for an international company.

“We have started to discover our own potential with the orientation programs, and by learning the best communication methods we have started to achieve our goals,” said Abdülsamet Sağır, speaking on behalf of all interns. He said the project contributed a lot to their self-esteem, and they embraced the motto, “Yes we can.”
“We also provided for the interns personal development programs, courses on leadership and interview methods,” Piraye Antika, chairwoman of YASED said. “We would be glad to see these young and bright students evolve as active entrepreneurs, employing at least 100 people in the next 10 years. This is YASED’s biggest dream.”
This year, 805 students applied to the Cocoon Project, and 118 students from cities such as those in the northern provinces of Trabzon, Giresun, Ordu, Artvin and the eastern provinces of Van, Urfa, Erzurum and Diyarbakır were selected to participate in the project. The students had the privilege of gaining an understanding of international business in a multi-cultural environment in Istanbul for a month.

Talking to the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Gül Gök, who studies public relations at Harran University in the southeastern province of Urfa, said “I did my internship at Renault in the sales & support department as a fresh graduate…now the head of the department is giving me a reference, which will increase my chances in my job applications.”

“As a young girl, I would like to stand on my own two legs by supporting myself financially in the future…this is very important to me,” Gök said.

Talking about the difficulties women face in Turkey’s east, Gök said: “Women have various problems there, and it’s really rare to have such an opportunity and make a change in one’s life. I am thankful to all the people who supported the project.”

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