University of California, Riverside

Anderson Graduate School of Management

AGSM Profile: Ece Kaptanoglu (AGSM MBA ’10)

AGSM provided me with a great understanding of all aspects of business through challenging and riveting coursework. I knew as an AGSM graduate I could succeed in any business field I chose to work in.

When Ece Kaptanoglu, an international MBA student from Turkey who graduated in 2010, started her first college internship, something just did not feel right. An internship position in international trade, which was also her major, made her realize her passion lay elsewhere.

Then came a marketing internship, which she found not only to be a stimulating experience, but also one she felt offered great potential for personal creativity. She grew to find marketing highly interesting which consequently led her to taking several marketing courses at The A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management (AGSM). One class in particular, Donna Hoffman's "Marketing Strategy" course, which allowed students to take responsibility for the management of a brand via computer simulations, cemented her interest in pursuing a brand manager position. "I truly enjoyed the simulation and more specifically analyzing the competition and making all the decisions related to the marketing of the brand," she said. "I realized I wanted to do something similar in real life."

Now, fresh off graduation with a UCR MBA, Kaptanoglu holds a marketing research position at Unilever, one of the largest multinational marketing companies.

Kaptanoglu is grateful for the foundational tools AGSM had provided her on the way to her current success. "AGSM provided me with a great understanding of all aspects of business through challenging and riveting coursework," she said. "I knew as an AGSM graduate I could succeed in any business field I chose to work in. Yet what helped me the most was the broad selection of electives that were offered, which allowed me to test out different fields and finally find the one that most excites me."

One particular memory stands out for her: The experience of taking a "Business Simulations" course taught by Long Gao, which she credits as one of the hardest yet most beneficial courses she had ever taken at UCR. "At the beginning of the quarter, there were over thirty students in the class, but by the end of the add/drop period there were only eight of us left," she said. Facing challenging assignments requiring great diligence, she regularly attended study group sessions at the Anderson Hall South Building MBA lounge until midnight several nights a week. "The coursework was highly difficult and time consuming, but the close attention Dr. Gao paid to each of us made it the best learning experience imaginable for those of us who stayed in the class," she said. "It was a great intellectual challenge, and overcoming that challenge was a great confidence boost for all of us."

On an extracurricular level, serving as the Vice President of Internal Affairs for the AGSM MBA Student Association cultivated other fond memories of her time in the MBA program. She particularly enjoyed the bowling nights the Student Association members would hold on a weekly basis. "What started out as a socializing event promoted by the student body became a weekly tradition. All the fun and the friendly competition provided a great bonding experience for those who attended regularly." In fact, Kaptanoglu advocates for new students to reap the benefits of being involved in the student body. "Serving [as a board member] during my second year not only was a great learning experience but also was a great way to give back to AGSM," she said. She is also an advocate for diversity in terms of the MBA program outside of the classroom. "I would recommend incoming students to not only hang out with students from their home countries but to also mingle with other students," she said. "As an international student, all of my friends in the program were from other nationalities (American, Nigerian, Bulgarian, Chinese, etc.) which not only helped me to significantly improve my English skills but also allowed me to learn from the experiences of a diverse group of students."

Overall, Kaptanoglu finds the MBA program experience at the UCR School of Business Administration to be an enriching one. "The renowned faculty at AGSM and the rigorous coursework helped me establish a solid foundation on which to build my professional career," she said. "The professors were always attentive and helpful both in and out of the classroom. Even though the class sizes were usually large, I always felt that the professors knew who I was and what my progress in the course was. In fact, I am still in touch with some of my professors at AGSM and I consult with them regularly about my career options. The classroom experience was almost always interactive, which allowed me to also learn from my colleagues’ experiences. Therefore, I can honestly say that my expectations were met and exceeded in the academic sense."


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General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

The A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management

Graduate Programs Office
102 Anderson Hall, South

Tel: (951) 827-6200
Fax: (951) 827-2055