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Gaye Yesilyurt

Commercial Sales Executive, Barcelona, Spain

SAP is a big supporter of diversity and I’m here with my unique vision and background with a history in international relations – both focused on  people’s lives and how to make it better.

Gaye Yesilyurt
Commercial Sales Executive
Barcelona, Spain

At SAP, we believe that when you bring everything you are, you can become everything you want.

While I was doing my Master’s degree in Cultural Studies, there was a series of workshops on campus organized by the Career Development Center, one of which was about “Data and Technology - The New Future.” It attracted my attention and I wanted to participate purely out of curiosity. The facilitator of the workshop was the CMO of SAP Turkey, Erdem Aksakal. He talked about how times are changing and what SAP’s mission is in this age of transformation. Although one could assume he was talking just about technology, I realized that he was talking about how our ordinary lives are changing in the same way. How could data intelligence make it possible to have a “smart life”? Well, there are apps that we now take for granted that calculate our steps, heartbeat, sleeping quality, diet, exercise, best route home, and more. Our very lives and activities are a sort of datacenter.

After the workshop, I went up to Erdem and asked him, “Since the beginning of workshop ‘data’ is key word. So, how exactly can we define what data is?”

He answered wisely, “Data is everything that we can measure, scale, and track.”

This experience inspired me to be a part of this field but it particularly inspired me to join SAP.

After 1.5 years of Field Sales experience at SAP Turkey, I am now a Commercial Sales Executive based in Barcelona helping my customers optimize their business experiences and guiding them in their digital expedition.

That workshop in college helped me a lot for sure. For a person from an International Relations and Political Science background, the future SAP is building in the world is beyond what I could have imagined. After that workshop, I was convinced that I want to be a part of this future too. I knew that if I was going to work for a corporation, their values would also have to match mine. Human rights, support for NGOs, and gender equality are at the front line here. That’s why if you ask me what one word I use to describe SAP,
it is “progressive”. To be honest, I was originally looking to pursue my life in the academic sphere, but I realized that my knowledge and passion from social sciences were ripe for the age of digitalization and I couldn’t have missed that opportunity at a company like this.

The magic formula of success for me is to have a goal, put in the hard work to achieve & excel in it, and be honest in what you do. It’s important to be productive but equally important to be creative. The best part of working at SAP is that I can freely develop and have time to cultivate myself outside of work with colleagues and friends. I do this by trying to bring harmony in my life. I like to draw, illustrate, and make graphic stories. I was even one of the founders of a graphic fanzine in college! I like listening to music and making rhythms of my own. I play the darbuka – a traditional Middle Eastern percussion instrument. These things relax me and entertain me.

When you look at my personal photos in the mosaic, you’ll see snapshots that describe what I like to do or my stance in life. Since drawing is such a big part of my identity, I included one of my illustrations that was published in a journal. Another one is from a Pride parade in Istanbul, where I joined my friends to have fun and support a good purpose. That’s why I especially chose to keep that moment. The last one is from a trekking route in Luxembourg. I spent six months there for an internship and I loved the natural landscapes there. I feel free when I hike and I try to organize trekking activities every now and then with my friends. It is a way of exploring the world around me while organizing my thoughts.

Maybe from what you’ve learned about me by now, it will be no surprise that it’s important for me to be in an environment that is beyond bias. SAP is a company that stands for the notion of diversity. I get to connect with diverse people daily and share inspiring ideas that add value to the lives of many! I have learned first-hand that this Company is a school where new ideas and business discussions bring enthusiasm for our common human future. It is motivating to be a part of this collaborative and innovative company culture. I believe that there is a secret spell to solve any customer problem and it is accessible from within SAP.

That’s not to say my success here has been handed to me on a silver platter. I’ve experienced my fair share of challenges too. My first big deal was after three months of discussions with my customer. We convinced their CEO to prioritize the latest version of the product, which was supposed to be the first example in Turkey. The process itself was rigorous with deadlines and approvals but the final decision was critical for both SAP and the customer. In the end, the customer went live with the product making it the first ever of its kind in Turkey. It was a win-win for all of us and I was proud of driving this cycle and including the experts when it was necessary. I would like to relive that moment because it was the first moment that I felt that I made a difference in the lives of others. Despite my initial nervousness and limited experience, I had the drive to succeed and SAP gave me the tools and people support to help me achieve that success.

One of my colleagues once told me that in SAP I would become “a big fish”. I was flattered, but I think that SAP is the perfect place for anyone who joins to become “himself” or “herself” whatever that may be.

If you have an appetite for technology and knowledge, then SAP is certainly the right address. Also, the high level of social awareness makes it an admirable humanitarian company. In the end, we are working with people and for the people. It is important to keep this spirit alive even if the market conditions can be cold and aggressive. So, what are you waiting for? Take it from me – at SAP you can bring everything you are and become everything you want! I sure have.

Bring everything you are. Become everything you want.

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