Can you tell us what is the origin of your name?
I am half Cypriot and half Turkish. My name has a Turkish origin and Öykü means ‘story’.
And what about your identity, is it more Turkish or Cypriot?
It is very difficult to answer this question. I have been exposed to a lot of different cultures in my life. I have travelled a lot, I lived in Sweden, in Italy, and now I am based in Switzerland. Sometimes I feel Turkish, sometimes I feel Cypriot, other times I act like an Italian. If you asked me where I feel the most at home, I would definitely say in Milano.
How did you become the Professional Assistant to the Group CEO of MET?
I was working for a trading company in Milano, and I was contacted by a head-hunter for a position in Switzerland. I said: why not? The interviews went well and soon I was packing my luggage for Zug. In 2015, I became Portfolio Manager at MET International – I was the first woman of the trading floor.
A couple of years later in 2018, the position of Professional Assistant to the Group CEO opened. I applied because I was impressed by the way Benjamin Lakatos founded MET and transformed it into a successful company. The job itself is really interesting: you understand how the whole Group works, there is no routine and every single day you can learn something new. With this position, I most enjoy that the possibilities are truly endless – the sky really is the limit!
What has been the most challenging part of this position?
I found myself working on several different topics at the same time and often under time pressure. This requires a large skill set, from soft to technical skills. Along the way you improve yourself, you start understanding your strengths and weaknesses and how to use them efficiently. It is a hard process, but a very good step for my career. It has definitely been a steep learning curve. You learn to play your part in contributing to the success of the company.
The energy sector is still dominated by men, has this caused any difficulty to you?
Personally, I have not experienced any difficulties so far. When I went to conferences and seminars back in Milan, I was pretty surprised to see that almost every participant in the room was a man. In the last few years, the business environment has changed significantly. Nowadays, when I attend similar events, the proportion of women is significantly higher.
Where is your professional career heading?
I am in a constant race with myself, and I am my strongest challenger. I am currently doing an MBA at the University of St. Gallen, with the aim of improving myself, although it is a huge amount of work besides my job at MET. With my MBA studies I wanted to improve my knowledge in finance and my managerial skills, complementing my engineering background and experience in my present position. In the future, I would like to take even more responsibility in a managerial role. My dream is to have a position that I love and where I can contribute to make a difference – for myself, for the company, and for the industry.