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From the time I was in high school I have been fascinated with and pursued international experiences to supplement not only my education but to develop myself as a person. My relationship with the American Field Service (AFS) began while I was in high school, when I had the opportunity to be an exchange student, spending my senior year of high school with an American family and high school. It was during this time that I became aware of how profoundly different international issues, and even of my own cultural appearance, appeared to me from the other side of the world, how these issues were approached, handled and interpreted. On the most practical level, this experience increased my self-esteem, self-efficacy, confidence, and comfort in my own skin. And, indeed, this was not the end of my relationship with AFS, an organization that I continue to volunteer my time for, working to build peace through intercultural understanding.
Oftentimes, I come back to my AFS experience, my travels throughout Europe and marvel at what it has done for my worldview. And it has left me wanting more. Working for Hergner Bilgen zeke Attorneys, one of Istanbul's premier law firms, brought me into contact with numerous clients from around the world. It was Hergner Bilgen zeke's representation of multinational companies and involvement in bringing Turkey into the European Union that gave me an epochal experience and exposure to the work that would become my life, and where my passion truly lies. While I fully appreciate that, I am a burgeoning attorney, with a great deal more work to complete, my practical experience in continental law will aid me invaluably in my pursuit of a Legum Magistra.
In order to achieve my goal of working for a large firm that handles international clients and issues, I need to immerse myself in a program that will allow me to specialize in corporate law. More than this, I require a program that will let me expand on this topic, to include international transactional law, mergers and acquisitions, as well as corporations and private investment funds. Upon my successful graduation, I plan on returning to Istanbul, continuing my development as a practitioner and prove my exclusivity on the issues I have studied. Studying in the United States would enable me to study in a comparative manner, evaluating the principles of the legal system of my country from another continent. And practicing in Istanbul will enable me to make contributions to the modernization and development of the Turkish legal system during its exciting introduction into the European Union.
Ultimately, I anticipate pursuing a PhD in Turkey while simultaneously practicing law. I consider an LLM degree from the world's finest law university to be the solid foundation from which I will build my PhD body of work. While Columbia University's guaranteed international diversity of student body, ne plus ultra faculty, and global rank of 10 by the Times Higher Education makes it an obvious choice for any aspiring individual, I am not just anyone and feel the need for an educational experience that is unparalleled just as my multinational experiences have been extremely fortunate. The history, and focus of Columbia make it the ideal environment in which I can bring my aims to fruition. No other school is as intrinsic to my needs, and no other school could give me the greater honor than to be among its alumni.