Its been over a month since our trip to Turkey, and going over the photographs, I relived the amazing week yet again. There were 2 occasions I clearly remembered like it was yesterday. The afternoon we had a group lunch in a local place and the last official night where we went on a cruise for final presentations. Here is a photo for each!
The beautiful bridge linking Europe and Asia. We had final presentations on the cruise, it was just slightly difficult to concentrate with the beautiful sunset viewed from the middle of Bosphorus - but totally worth it!
That is us adventurously experiencing local cuisine. The hot dish for the afternoon was intestines - rather chewy, with rice stuffed in them, not as horrid as everyone thought they would be!
Miss those days, but the memories are there to keep!
This picture was taken not at a particularly memorable location, or a notable tourist destination. This is the kind of beauty that abounds in the city of Istanbul, and can be seen just when ambling aimlessly through it’s streets.
Istanbul was unlike any place I have ever visited and I am so grateful to the Marshall School of Business for giving me the opportunity to go there. I would also like to thank Marshall for allowing me, through the LINC program, to experience both the international business world, especially as it pertains to Turkey, and the cultural aspects of this great and ancient city.
I would also like to thank my fellow LINC Istanbul students for providing a wonderful group to travel with and for representing our school so well.
This trip truly opened my eyes to the scale and importance of the international business world, as well as how important understanding culture can be when attempting to conduct business in other parts of the world. The importance of learning more than one language was also emphasized by this trip. I am so grateful for the opportunity and still starstruck by everything I was able to see in Istanbul.
Istanbul, I promise that I will be back someday.
~~Marianne Malia Hawes~~
I still remember the day I first check Marshall’s website and found out about this amazing LINC program. It was way before I started writing college application essays, but I was already imagining myself participating a LINC trip. Coming back from Istanbul, the LINC trip is even better than what I expected for years. I cannot pick one moment as my most unforgettable experience, because they are all just so unique and full of joy.
During the trips to the companies, I really enjoyed seeing a real manufacturing process and asking questions about the company’s management decision and future development. It’s surprising that so many details that I either ignored or completely had no idea about are included in a company’s daily functions.
The trip not only helped me learn about international business, but also provideed a valuable cultural experience. When I travel to a foreign country where I do not speak the language, I am always with a team and tour guide. However, it’s not that scary to go sightseeing without local accompany. The communication turns out to be not that difficult. The experience in Turkey encourages me to try travel abroad without the help of a travel agency or tour guide.
I recommend the LINC program to every Marshall freshman, especially to Istanbul, Turkey. I will definitely apply for other Marshall aboard programs and possibly become an exchange student.
Now that all of us have returned to our homes, the warm feeling of summer begins to settle in. As I sit here writing my final post, I smile at all the happy memories that I have made during my past week in the beautiful city of Istanbul. From the crazy taxi journeys to the calm and serene ferry ride across the Bosphorus, I feel that I have experienced the Turkish lifestyle quite well. The lessons I have taken away from the company visits leave me in a state of inquiry regarding future opportunities within the domestic and global economy. What kinds of events lie ahead? Will expansion be the key to success for other companies in the near future? To simply state, I have many more questions now about forming an effective business plan that will allow a company to expand its horizons and increase profit. This increases my interest in my field of study as well as my upcoming courses in the next few years. In any case, this question left to us future business leaders to answer.
The moment I stepped foot in LA, I was shocked to realize that just 13 hours ago, I was in Istanbul, Turkey. Even in that instance, I still couldn’t grasp the notion that I was actually able to go to such a place. The whole trip could not have been any better. Despite the lack of sleep on some nights, I was never once not happy about my choice to choose Istanbul. This trip has not only opened my eyes to new cultural norms and professional business affairs, but it has definitely been the highlight of my freshman year at USC. No other school could organize such an event any better.
In the upcoming years, I hope that I can take these valuable lessons from this course and apply it to future encounters with businesses either on other international programs or internships. I am sure that the knowledge that I have acquired is truly relevant to helping me become successful in global business. I would be truly excited to revisit this historical and inspiring city in the near future.
Until next time, Istanbul…
Yesterday was our one and only free day in Istanbul and I spent it shopping!
Starting at Grand Bazaar, we navigated through the crowds to buy jewelry, scarfs, and bags. It is easy to get separated from friends, I know this first hand as I spent 30 minutes looking for people. Right when you give up things happen - found them when I wasn’t even looking. Happens here all the time. Later we found another one of us looking around for familiar faces.
Despite the heat and lack of room, we went ahead to the spice bazaar and bought exotic teas, spices, Baklova and Turkish Delight for friends and family. My favorite souvenirs were the miniature hookas I bought to give people. The famous Turkish coffee was bought in abundance that day. Turkish people are really friendly and if nothing else you can go and try the different things as you can sample almost everything before buying (trying figs was the best!)
We leave for LA in about an hour and I do not know when I will set foot on the Turkish soil again, but I sure hope to revisit!
Princess-Island: A Craaaaazy Ride
Although we had several cultural visits before Saturday, a free day is what we have been waiting for to explore the city and beautiful resorts. I have been thinking of gift shopping for friends and family, but I decide to use the extra day to continue the sightseeing on Princess-Island.
I don’t know if I took the right ferry to the Asia side, but my way to Princess-Island was definitly long enough. It took nearly two hours one way and I fell asleep on both the way there and back…
Once we arrived, my friends and I hesitated if we should take the two-horse carriage. It smells terrible but it was worth it when you became the driver…
Then we staredt playing crazy music with our phones, ringing the bells to pass walkers, cyclists and other carriages. In fact, when you ride like the wind, the terrible smell went with the wind…
We will fly back to LA tomorrow and I will start my late summer school with one assignment and one quiz due Monday about the material I have no idea about. I would miss the unforgettable journey in Istanbul! One day I will visit other parts of Turkey!
Istanbul: A Modern City
The Plane to Turkey
Before coming to Istanbul, I expected Turkey to be a religion-dominated, conservative, less-developed country. Instead I encounter a modern city with diverse culture and an open heart. Istanbul is so different from what I used to think. I chose Istanbul because of its renowned histoy , but the young energy truly blows me away.
Istanbul is filled with high-rises and huge clean shopping malls, especially in the new town areas. While Istanbul learns from the western countries and aspires to become one of the major finance centers around the world, it still preserves its historical traditions and protect its local brands. In the city, Mosques are seen every few blocks and broadcast the Muslim chanting five times a day. The Turkish government raises taxes for imported goods and provide more opportunities for domestic business.
During the company visits, I am surprised by the young population in Turkey. Moreover, both the blue-collar workers and the university students have the ability to use multiple languages and compete in an international market. As future business leaders, we should learn from them and embrace the idea of international business.
Permak Group Reception at Four Seasons
In terms of business, what I will remeber from this trip is the passion for their business when the company leaders talk about their life-long dedication to us. I couldn’t stop imagining the excitement as, one day, I would become an USC alumni and introduce my business to future students.
The Road to Asia
last official day!
Last official day of the trip was yesterday - Friday evening on a cruise in the Bosphorous was definitely the way to say goodbye to Istanbul! Teams said last words about their experience this past week, which was followed by dinner and socializing. Sitting in the middle of water between two major continents is a feeling hard to describe. I could have spent hours just sitting there looking around at the majestic sunset.
A week might seem like a short time, but with the super tight schedule it would be hard to go strong any longer. “When else are we going to be in Istanbul?!” is what’s keeping everyone going - trying to enjoy every single minute we have here. People are running on average 4 hours of sleep, but the tradeoff is worth it.
Well, the business section of the trip is over, and all that remains is our free day, and the morning of tomorrow, which will mostly consist of our trip to the airport. Within the last two days, we have visited Hagia Sophia, the Sultanahmet, the Basilica Cistern and Topkapi Palace. These sites were ineffably beautiful, and each one had it’s own distinct history. They are representative of how rich the history of Turkey is and how much beauty there is to be found all over the world.
The last few company visits were all fascinating in their own way and very educational, as always. After our last visit, we went on a cruise where different teams summed up what we learned. The presentations were all very well done and often quite funny. It was a great ending for the trip as a group.
Today is our one free day, to explore wherever we would like to go. Many of us went to the Grand Bazaar to buy all of our souvenirs to take home. Getting lost in all the excitement and bustle of the Grand Bazaar is a wonderful experience, and bargaining with the shop keepers can be just as educational about the international business world as our company visits have been.
All in all, the trip has been a wonderful, unforgettable, and informative, and I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it.
~Marianne Malia Hawes~
While the last few days felt quite long because of early morning meetings combined with a packed schedule, we visited a few companies that I felt were truly eye-opening. In particular, we had the opportunity to visit Mercedes-Benz Turk, where we learned about the production of buses, trucks, and coaches. Many of us knew that Mercedes made luxury vehicles in the United States, but it was amazing to see that they play a different role within the Turkish market. Similar in structure to the days before, we had a short presentation and then a tour within the manufacturing facility. Did you know that Mercedes-Benz Turk can create 17 buses in one day? It may not sound like a lot, but seeing all the workers in the factory made it seem like such a tremendous accomplishment.
In addition to the company visits, I was truly blown away by our visit to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Basilica Cistern. The beautiful architecture and durability of these buildings were fascinating and stunning at the least. I remember reading about these historical landmarks in textbooks before, but physically seeing them for myself was a whole different feeling. Learning about the intricate interior of the Hagia Sophia was so intriguing and informative. So far, everything in Istanbul is beautiful and all the places we travel to have the best view of the Bosphorus. I am really enjoying the trip so far, and I can’t wait for the next few days ahead. Time to take more pictures!