Ourania Areta
Assistant Professor - HEI
She was born in Athens, Greece and grew up in West Greece. She ‘s currently an assistant professor & has working experience in Greece, UK & Turkey. She graduated from Agricultural University of Athens as a Natural Resources Manager & Agricultural Engineer. She then pursued her MSc degree in Salford Business School (UK) & graduated in 2008 as a Food Quality Manager. In the mean time, she got training regarding Public Administration & Social Policy at the Greek Manpower Employment Organisation, & worked as a researcher for Sakarya University, Turkey, where she conducted her PhD in Product & Operations Management (Business School). She worked as a lecturer & project developer for Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, Business School, under the Management Information Systems Department, when she took part in several EU funded projects as a researcher, financial coordinator and manager. She is currently a full time academic member of Izmir Bakircay University (Turkey), Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences- MIS Department; in parallel to academic duties, she has the responsibility of EU project development.
Tell us about your career path.
Why did you choose a STEM profession?
Was your interest in STEM encouraged?

When I was an undergrad student, I had never thought that one day I would be educating students in this field. My career started at the private sector and my first contact with academic environment came when I started EU project development in Turkey. It was that time when I worked as a researcher within the framework of a project in Sakarya University, and decided to pursue a PhD degree at that university. The encouragement towards this direction came initially because of personal interest and background, and the need for professional establishment in a foreign country (with no knowledge of Turkish!). So it was actually a one way choice, which took me to a very good ending.

How was your educational/university experience? Do you have any memorable experiences to share?

All three levels of university experience that I had (undergraduate, MSc and PhD) had to offer different things. I had the luck to experience 3 different educational systems (Greece, UK and Turkey); teaching styles; peers and educators. Too many memorable experiences throughout these years…from the joyful and careless times in the undergraduate level to the advanced research orientation of UK programmes. Then, mingling with academic personnel and professional peers at the PhD degree. All phases had different excitement, positive and stressful moments, mistakes and achievements, and contributed to who I am today.

Where do you work?
What would you do during a typical day at work? What do you enjoy most about your job?

Management Information Systems Department, Izmir Bakircay University. A typical day may include lecturing; preparation for lecture; research for academic work; meeting with students; meetings at departmental, faculty or university level; fulfilling administrative work; work load of EU projects; attendance of regularly organized seminars.

What are your plans and aspirations for the future?

Well, after all the things that have been taking place the last couple of years,  making plans has become kind of anecdote. Nevertheless, my plans include undertaking a postdoc so that I can enhance my knowledge; continue teaching young people and trying to set the grounds for their future (this is actually one of the motivations of our occupation); further research and exploration of IT related advancements for personal and educational purposes.

What do you like to do outside of work? What are your passions and hobbies?

Spending time with family and friends, gardening, cooking, watching films and listening to music, travel, strolls at the seaside, food tourism.

What advice would you give to other young girls and women who plan to pursue a STEM career?

To follow their dream! There are so many opportunities for women in this field, which, in some aspect remains men dominated. I believe one of our advances is the « multifunctionality » so use this to your benefit. They should invest in their knowledge and absorb as much info available as possible. They should embrace their nature, love what they do or have selected for their profession, and be curious about life!!