Chasing Dreams and Never Giving Up – The Pathway to Success at IBM

By Defne Tozan                                                                                                                         

DefneTozan2

Realizing my dreams

As a young Electronics student, being an IBMer was always my dream. In my senior year at Middle East Technical University, a friend joined IBM and would tell me about the kind of projects he worked on, the environment and his global colleagues – at that stage I was convinced that I had to work at the best Tech Company. When I graduated, the IT sector was relatively new in Turkey which attracted a curious mix of young male and female graduate engineers, an industry that had an absence of gender stereotyping. When I joined IBM, I was able make my dream a reality.

Excitement and Continuous Learning

This year, I celebrate my 28th year as a proud IBMer. It might sound a bit strange to you that I’ve worked at one company for that long. However for me, it has been always an exciting journey filled with different roles, progress, joining new teams all in an industry that keeps evolving which allowed continuous learning at IBM.

Mentorship and Development — Learning how things work.

I have had access to mentors throughout my career, who not only guided me on work related matters but also taught me valuable life lessons. I’ve been given a lot of opportunity to develop myself, learn new things, and work in a climate where people trust each other. As a female, I can say that I have always been treated as an equal and have met wonderful people that have become close friends and in a way extended family. With the IBM way of doing business, I have had the chance to unlock the potential in me.

Worklife Balance—Setting priorities and asking for help when needed

Being the mother of two gorgeous girls and dealing with the ever-increasing demand of daily life, most of the time I feel like a ball juggler that has to keep the balls up in the air without letting any of them drop at all. With each day, we engaging with numerous client related matters, working on solving problems, and making critical decisions for business and our family. To manage my day to day demands, I have found what works and is most effective for me is prioritizing things and asking for help needed. Whilst I strive for perfection in all that I do, I have also learn’t to be more patient and open to understanding that not every engagement or project will be 100% perfect.

Women and Technology—A perfect blend for making an impact on society

I have built my entire career in the Technology sector and I highly support women to work in STEM fields. I believe with dedication and passion to reinvent ourselves, as women we can have prestigious careers. #WomenAtIBM are changing the world with technology, making an impact on society and working in an ever changing dynamic environment.


Defne Tozan is IBM Global Technology Services (GTS) Country Leader – Turkey

If you are interested in building a career like Defne’s at IBM, apply for this role and join our GTS Turkey team.  Follow our campaign #IBMTechTalent on Twitter for further insight into pursuing a Technical Career at IBM

To find out more about our career opportunities in Middle East and Africa
Connect with us on Facebook at IBM Africa Talent and IBM MEA Talent.
Follow us on Twitter @IBMJobsMEA and @IBMAfricaJobs

What will you make with IBM?

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