KTU student from Turkey: Text is my Paintbrush and Computer is my Canvas
An IT student attending BA+ classes in design, Eylul Guleryuz is searching for a career path where visual arts and computer science merge. Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) student from Turkey pursues this goal boldly and confidently – being the only woman in her study programme, she perceives it as a motivation to achieve high results.
Yoga, long walks, gardening and travels, many of which have taken place in recent years – that is how Eylul describes her life. In addition to the dozens of countries visited, the student expands her experience and knowledge in various extracurricular activities.
“I try to make every day I live special and different from the last one. I put my efforts into making an impact and leaving a positive mark on the people I encountered in my life,” Eylul shares her life formula.
Being an ambassador came to my life very naturally. Even before becoming one, I have been consulting my friends about university applications since I have a systematic and organised way of categorising information and am eager to share it with them. At Kaunas University of Technology, KTU, this act found its label.
The GIFTed community is what makes me feel at home in Lithuania even more. I can always find someone to talk to or ask for help and I feel comfortable doing it. It is also very intriguing to widen my perspective by talking with my like-minded friends and getting to learn about their experiences. If you are reading this, thank you, my GIFTed friends, you all are special and amazing!
How do you go about your day? What enables you to keep up with every responsibility?
In high school, I studied in a very demanding study programme where I also did 750 hours and more of extracurricular activities. This has taught me how not to give up when facing challenges and manage my time efficiently. Studying informatics turned out to be even more demanding, to be honest, but it was my choice to study it, unlike the compulsory subjects in high school.
I think what motivates me most is that the things I learn really amaze me, and make me want to dig even more into the field since informatics is limitless. So, I study to learn and improve my skills, not only to pass my tests. And about other responsibilities, seeing the results makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing, again, not because I have to but because I want to. So, I try to carefully pick the things I spend my time on and prioritise them while also giving myself time and space to avoid burnout.
You mentioned hoping to study computer arts and combine the experience and background you have in IT and visual arts. Many think that art and science are two very different things. What is your perception? Can art and science coexist or even be combined?
What I call art is the way people express themselves, so how we live and go about our lives is art too. And since science is a systematic expression of real life, science is also art. That is why I don’t look at science and art as two different fields. While writing a code, I step into a world where text is my paintbrush and the computer is my canvas. Then I can create whatever I want, it’s just a matter of giving the computer correct instructions. I guess this defines art, doesn’t it?
You are the only woman in your study program. How do you feel about it? Why, in your opinion, do women still rarely choose this major?
True, I am the only woman in my academic group. In some of the modules I take, there are girls exchange students or students from the upper classes, but in general, it’s no more than 20 per cent of the classes I take, so I rarely encounter women professionals.
I think it’s the stereotypes that hold women back from studying IT, the gender gap in this field is huge. That’s why the term “IT guy” exists. I bet many women don’t even see IT as a career choice. However, maybe I should say “used to” since more and more women are switching their careers to IT now.
What challenges and opportunities do you encounter in your everyday life regarding your informatics studies?
I think sometimes people, especially the older generation, underestimate me just because of my gender and they are surprised when I perform well. This is the only thing that I can call a challenge but it is more of a motivation for me than a problem because I feel like I should do even better, surprise them more, and show that successful women also exist in this field.
The world is evolving by hours, and technology is being applied in areas we would not have even thought of before. Can the future exist without technology?
I think it cannot. Technology is an inevitable part of daily life already. I had my first smartphone when I was 11, so I know how it was when texting people or logging into social media every day was not an option. But for example, my 13-year-old brother has grown up with a tablet in his hand. It’s the reality now, which is changing exponentially. Maybe soon technology will even be a part of our bodies, who knows.
What are your aspirations for the future? Would you consider staying in Lithuania and further developing the IT field?
So far, Lithuania has given me a lot of opportunities that make me happy to live here. But I am also very adaptive to changes and always in search of new opportunities. For now, I just go with the flow and do whatever feels right, walking on a path searching for a better me every day. The time will show where I will find her.