Today we had a delicious breakfast in the clubhouse – not only was it delicious sandwiches, but it also meant we were not yelled at by the cafeteria workers (which was a huge relief to us all!)
After breakfast we were off on a long bus ride (which meant we could catch up on sleep!) During this bus ride, we crossed the Bosphorus, which means we actually changed continents (our hotel, University and everything we have done thus far had been in Europe, but toady we were spending most of the day in Asia).
Our first stop was Tübitak – an 8000-acre plot of land that is home to “the scientific and technological research council of Turkey.” We got an overview of the place and then heard from specific workers in different industries. It was very pharmaceutical-heavy, but this establishment is huge and doing great things in the pharmaceutical world (for both Turkey as a nation (especially their military) and also for civilians). The whole presentation tied in nicely with our conference theme of “technology and our generation.”
We then got to have lunch in Tubitak’s dining hall and then got a tour of some of the facilities. After that we were off to the Turkish e-commerce company sahibinden.com.
Sahibinden.com is essentially the amazon/eBay/alibaba of Turkey. It is literally the most popular Turkish website, and is around the 4th most popular website in visited by Turkish people (after Google, YouTube, Facebook, etc.)
First we got a tour of the offices. On the bottom floor there were some rows of desks (not cubicles – all open air). In addition to the desk areas, however, there was a dance studio/yoga area with auditorium seating behind it, a mini basketball court and a gym. Best of all was the brainstorming room, which was painted green, had a plush purple bench along the outside and best of all had a mini rainforest encased in glass around it.
We then headed up to the second part of the office, on the third floor. Here there were more cubicle-less desks and common meeting spaces. There was also a room to play video games in (seriously) and a fully stocked kitchen. Best of all was the fact that there was literally a one-lane track running along the outside of the whole office (about 300 meters total!) You could tell that this office clearly wanted their employees to feel comfortable in order to work as effectively as possible.
After learning a bit more about the company (and eating some delicious snacks) we headed back to the clubhouse for dinner. Dinner was this DELICIOUS combination of chicken, rice and chickpeas.
Next we went back to the hotel to change, then came back to the clubhouse for a pre-game and to meet some of the other club members. We then headed to Reina, a gorgeous and very fancy nightclub right on the Bosphorus. It started off a bit odd (a DJ was playing, but some people were still eating). We were just a little early, though, and I enjoyed chatting with many of the Turkish delegates for a while. After a bit, more people came and we started making a dance floor right by the DJ. I had an absolute blast dancing the night away and we ended up returning to the hotel around 3am (just in time to get live-text updates from the nail-biting end of Harvard’s NCAA game).
TGT: 1) Dancing at Reina 2) delicious dinner 3) touring Sahibinden.com
Until next time,