This podcast accompanies the recent article about a Turkish client who was trying to complete her MBA and move back to Turkey BCG or McKinsey after about 15 years outside the country. The podcast was done 18 months after the article was written so we will discuss her experiences since the time we provided the initial advice in the article. In many ways, what worked to this client’s benefit was her genuine sincerity when asking for helping, excellent personality and high intellect. A rare combination.
The biggest lesson for us in guiding this client was that we both dramatically underestimated the cultural adjustment she would need to make, and really prove to her colleagues that she wanted to be there for the long-term. We tend to assume if you were born in an emerging market, moved to the US at a young age and studied in the US, it should be easy to return. That is not the case since the dynamics in many emerging markets have changed.
In particular, many outstanding professionals now return home immediately after their studies and choose to make the country their long-term home. They are not necessarily seeking a return to the US. Moreover, many clients also tend to seek this patriotism from consultants. We discuss the initial challenges the client faced in building genuine relationships in Turkey and the changes she had to make to be accepted in the local culture.