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Get to know Zeynep Saruhanlioglu!

When did you do the IDA master?


How was the IDA Master helpful for what you are doing right now?

Generally speaking, the IDA Master was helpful for my personal development. The whole program, both content and process-wise, gave me many opportunities to learn and grow. Specifically, I continue with a Ph.D. position that aligns with my interests and training throughout the program. The knowledge and skills I gained create a solid ground to embark on this next phase of my life. So, to me, it was helpful in many ways.

What was your favorite course? And why?

Traineeships were my favorites. Each provided a great chance to personalize my studies further and work with great supervisors to gain more professional experience and expand my knowledge and skills in different research stages more directly. Psychometrics and statistics courses were pretty fun, too. 🙂

What was your favorite moment of the time as an IDA Student?

Strictly speaking, I wasn’t an IDA student then, but the graduation day was wonderful in putting everything in perspective and seeing how much we have accomplished during the program, both as individuals and as a cohort. Also, our first summer get-together with the cohort after the first-year paper presentation was a day to remember!

What was your motivation to finish your studies?

Curiosity about the complexity of our lives and ways to make a positive contribution. Not every moment was the same in terms of motivation, which I find natural — but having a direction and reason gave me the energy to continue.

Did you experience stress or pressure in your studies, and if yes how did you deal with it?

Yes, it is a unique and demanding program. To deal with stressful moments, I sought support from my cohort, our coordinator, and the professors I worked with, tried to turn such moments into learning experiences, and focused on work-life balance. There were definitely ups and downs, but it was ultimately worth it for my aspirations.

What can you advise current or future IDA students?

Trust yourself and the process, and cut yourself some slack – or be kind :). Stay connected to people and life, and take it step by step. In the end, you cannot be everywhere, all the time, at your best.

How was your overall experience in the master?

A big leap in growth in a relatively small amount of time. I connected to beautiful people, learned extensively, consolidated my way, and left feeling accomplished and proud.

What did you do in your international traineeship and how did you like it?

I joined the 21st EAWOP congress, the largest European gathering for work and organizational psychology. It was great to be exposed to the most recent advancements in the academic landscape and exciting topics and see the quality of education we got in IDA.

Are you still in touch with other alumni students?

Absolutely yes!

How did you experience the relationship with your teachers?

They were very friendly, inspirational, and supportive— an integral aspect of the quality of IDA.

Did you know from the beginning what you want to do after your master? How did you find out what you would like to do?

I can say yes. Ph.D. has always been a part of my potential plans since the beginning of my bachelor’s. Of course, the specifics were not definitive, but I ultimately aimed for an academic-practitioner position and am moving in the same direction. And to answer how – it’s a nice combination of passion, self-reflection, and a supportive environment from early onwards.

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