My career began in the Turkish private sector, where I worked on multi-million dollar projects, including for construction companies in Pakistan and Turkmenistan. This gave me the chance to quickly acquire experience both in technical and field offices in an international context.
Towards the end of 2002, my career began to take a different course when I was posted for two and a half years to the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as an engineer with the United Nations Volunteer programme. This experience gave me excellent exposure to peacekeeping operations on the ground and led to the start of my international career with the United Nations.
Since then, I have served in peacekeeping missions for some ten years. My experience with the larger and more complex missions, such as the United Nations Mission in the Sudan, the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur, and the United Nations Support Office for the African Union Military Observer Mission in Somalia, has provided me with the perfect opportunity to use and develop my skills in a diverse global peacekeeping environment.
A peacekeeping operation requires significant resources, which need to be managed effectively and efficiently. In engineering terminology, this is called the "optimized utilization of funds, people skills, time and assets.” These important elements comprise the backbone of every operation. I enjoy incorporating this approach into my work as I manage large numbers of staff from many different backgrounds.
It can be quite a challenge to manage clients’ expectations in an uncertain environment, while juggling frequently changing priorities, which tend to disrupt what ideally should be a steady planning and implementation process. However, regardless of any setbacks, it is my job to deliver the best possible results and value for the Organization.
One aspect I really enjoy is to ensure that I keep the team spirit high, while we work together to overcome the inevitable challenges that come our way in supporting the mission. When you work together as a team, even in challenging situations, it is amazing to see the results that can be achieved.