Yağmur’s DeepMind Scholarship is supporting her while she studies for a Masters degree in Computer Engineering at Istanbul Technical University, in her native country of Turkey.
On completing her first degree, in mechatronic engineering, she worked on smartphone and 5G projects in industry, gaining experience and earning the funds to support her MSc. Her scholarship allowed her to completely focus on her Masters degree program and explore machine learning applications to new communications technologies. Thanks to this scholarship, she will be able to become an academic sooner than expected.
Don’t give up! A working woman in Turkey, especially in industry, may face many challenges, but she should not give up."
In conversation with Yağmur
Hello, Yağmur. You’re studying for a Masters degree in Computer Engineering at Istanbul Technical University. Tell us how you got there.
In my last company, I was working on international 5G projects as part of the EU’s Celtic-Next initiative and that expanded my horizons. It made me want to research future machine learning applications in 5G networking and SDN (software-defined networking). So, I decided to apply to the Masters degree program, and was accepted. My professor encouraged me to focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in the network management area. Thanks to him, I was also accepted into the Broadband Communications Research Group (BCRG) at the university but I didn’t have enough time to focus on this research group or research because I was still working at my company. When I won a place on the scholarship programme, I was able to leave my job and focus on my Masters. Actually, I liked my company and if I had stayed another four or five months I would have probably been promoted. But my manager also supported me, and it was an easy decision to leave.
Without the DeepMind scholarship, would you have been able to follow this path?
Yes, but it would have been much harder for me because I would need to earn the money to support myself during my Masters program, and it would take longer, maybe a few years, before I could start it.
How did you find out about the scholarship?
I was checking the university announcements and I saw a notice about the DeepMind scholarship. I consulted my professor and he encouraged me to apply. I was accepted, and that made me very happy because now I can just focus on research.
What have been the other benefits of the scholarship?
It has allowed me to network and meet people in the same field as me. The conferences and online events have also been good for me: it’s important to see what other people are doing, and to follow the current situation in technology. And my mentor has given me some really useful advice to help me solve the challenges I’m coming across during my studies.
The scholarships are important because they are letting more people follow their passion. I’d like to be a professor of AI in the future, and the scholarship has opened the door to my dream.
What would be your advice to someone in your position five or six years ago?
Don’t give up! A working woman in Turkey, especially in industry, may face many challenges, but she should not give up. There is always a way to succeed - just change your perspective and welcome new opportunities.