As a part of our “Monthly Spotlight” series to foster a sense of community in the IEOR/ORMS departments, we had the privilege to interview Kaan Gezguc –a third-year IEOR major from Istanbul, Turkey!
Kaan grew up in Istanbul and graduated from the Saint Joseph High School where he simultaneously received education in French, English, and Turkish. As a trilingual person immersed in an international landscape, Kaan recognized the global challenge of transforming industries into more sustainable ones through better waste management and manufacturing processes.
As Kaan likes to put it: “Most production cycles and life on earth itself depend on natural resources, so if we want real change, we need to constantly improve our methods to conserve resources and design sustainably by default”. His passion for innovating sustainable production methods combined with a strong interest in management science led him to choose IEOR as a major.
Kaan believes that the IEOR department at Berkeley equips him with robust technical skills that give him the confidence to enter an unknown field and strategically break down complex systems. Besides the strong technical nature of the IEOR department, Kaan enjoys the vast majority of business-related opportunities available to him and the flexibility to explore new sectors. Given Bay Area’s extremely diverse and innovative culture, Kaan wants to use his IEOR skillset to help local businesses at a greater scale. Additionally, Kaan always felt a special connection to Cal as his mother received her MBA from the Haas School of Business. She has been a major inspiration to Kaan to pursue his studies at Berkeley. Furthermore, Kaan played for Cal Men’s Varsity Division I Water Polo team and represented Cal in various national competitions. The discipline he gained from his water polo career both at Cal and at the Turkish National team translated to his approach to his professional and educational aspirations.
Kaan’s favorite class at Berkeley so far is INDENG 173, Introduction to Stochastic Processes by Professor Zeyu Zheng. The knowledge to build models using probability theory is an essential skill to tackle complex structures according to Kaan. He is currently taking Professor Zheng’s follow-up class, INDENG 174, Simulations for Enterprise Scale Systems, where he has the chance to build an exciting final project using the knowledge he gained. Kaan's favorite non-IEOR class was Engineered Systems and Sustainability, an introductory Civil Engineering class taught by Professor Arpad Horvath on key engineered systems and assessing their environmental impacts using concepts and methods of sustainability analysis. Besides classes, Kaan is a part of the Fung Fellowship at Berkeley as a Conservation + Technology Fellow where he is immersed in design challenges to tackle conservation problems using the design thinking framework. Moreover, Kaan is passionate about using engineering knowledge for social and environmental justice through the program Engineering Scholars as Engaged Scholars.
Finally, in his free time, Kaan likes to stay active by hiking, biking, and doing yoga. He also has a great interest in cooking, especially in Turkish cuisine which he likes to share the culture with his peers.