Beste’s Fast-Moving Career in Consulting

Beste Şen has always found visiting new countries a thrilling experience. She thinks she was bitten by the travel bug when she was studying for an industrial engineering degree at Istanbul’s Özyeğin University in her home country of Turkey.

“During my study I took part in a couple of international internships,” she remembers. “One was with a company in Finland, and the other was at Oregon State University in the U.S.. These were part-time positions and I was away for a matter of months, really. But those experiences were so important because they made me realize that I was capable of living alone in another country. They really improved my self-confidence.”

Author: Tony Greenway

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Be You, Culture & Career, Women at DHLC

Beste is now a Senior Consultant at DHL Consulting’s headquarters in Bonn, but had always thought that she would become an industrial engineer. However, after graduating from university as a valedictorian, she began working as an intern with an international consulting company. She was promoted to business analyst and then consultant with the firm; but around two-and-a-half years later, Beste found out about a female networking event via Linked-in, run by DHL Consulting. It sounded intriguing, and too good to miss.

“I joined the event virtually because it was during the pandemic, and found out more about DHL Consulting,” says Beste. “I really got on with all the people — everyone on the call was super-warm — and I liked what I was hearing about the company. I decided to apply and within two weeks received an offer. Then I got my visa and moved to Bonn in October 2021. So it all happened within one month!” Talk about fast-moving.

Consulting moves pretty quickly, too, because, every day is a new experience. “I get to learn about so many different things,” says Beste. “It’s a dynamic environment with a new challenge around every corner. I like that. I also like the people — and I get to meet lots of them because I’m constantly working with different teams. Plus the workforce is young and international, which made it easier for me to integrate. I started to make new friends from my very first day here.”

You are the lead of DHLC’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) team. Why is that role important to you?

Even though DHLC is the best place to work in terms of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, I always wanted to support those people who may not feel comfortable speaking up and making their own voices heard. Because if you don’t feel as though you belong in a company, for whatever reason, you can’t be yourself. And if you can’t be yourself at work, you won’t perform well. It’s therefore crucial to help people feel at home, long-term, in the workplace.

What does the DEIB team do?

We run a lot of initiatives. For example, we oversee mandatory diversity training to all new joiners and we are about to launch a new allyship and inclusive leadership training program. Plus, DHLC is a truly international company with colleagues from around the world; so every couple of months we run a cultural appreciation day where a member of the team hosts a day designed to introduce team members to their culture, history. themes, and current events – as well as bringing along dishes of the national cuisine which is always very popular! It’s important to do — but it’s also great fun!

How important are female role models at DHLC?

Very! Sometimes, talk of female role models can seem sort of fluffy. But I can’t stress how vital it is for women to see concrete examples of female leaders who have careers and families. It certainly encourages me to be my best.

Your passion is travel. How did that start?

Turkey isn’t part of the European Union, so travel to Europe has never been straightforward for me because I’ve always needed a visa. But that challenge — that obstacle — is why I’ve wanted to do more traveling, not less. Also, I like feeling of being out of my bubble, my safe space. I like observing cultures and trying new experiences. Travel is great exposure to other worlds.

What’s your favorite country to visit?

That’s a tough question. I love Mediterranean countries — although I couldn’t choose just one — because I find being close to the sea so beautiful. For example, I really love Greece and Italy because culturally, they’re close to Turkey in terms of food and the friendliness of their people.

Is there a country you haven’t been to yet but want to visit?

Yes: Mexico. I really want to go there. When I did my internship in the U.S., my professor was from Mexico and we were always talking about his country and it sounded fabulous. And I love Mexican food! Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to go at that time because I was too busy studying. But a trip there is definitely on my bucket list.

Are you able to balance your love of travel with your work commitments?

I’m really lucky because DHLC takes a flexible approach to work. For example, I’m going back to Turkey this summer. I get to take vacation days, obviously; but I can also work from Turkey if I need to which makes it easier for me to spend time with my family and friends.

In consulting, being a team player is the most important part of our job. After all, we are always working in team settings.

Individually we may have different projects to work on and different challenges to work through — but, in the end, in front of the client, we have to come together as one team. So it’s crucial to trust the people you’re working with — and work well together.

Beste Sen

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