Busra Altay follows her sister’s path to SUNY Oswego
By Stefan Yablonski
Above: “This is from my amazing workplace at the study abroad office in SUNY Oswego. I consider myself incredibly lucky to work with the international office staff and study abroad office staff, Erin and Amy. They are the most amazing people I’ve met here, and I already miss working there during the summer break. I’ve learned so much from Erin and Amy in the office, and they genuinely love helping the students.”
Coming to SUNY Oswego was a family affair for Busra Altay.
“I am from Turkey, specifically from Izmir, a coastal city on the west side of the country,” she said. “Some of my family and close friends live there and I have great memories of growing up in that beautiful environment.”
After college, she worked as a financial auditor at a big company with branches in the US. Her job involved auditing the finances of large-scale companies.
“I loved my work, even though it meant working overtime almost every week,” she said.
However, she felt the need for a change and wanted to gain new experiences in her field to learn more.
“That’s why I decided to apply for an MBA at SUNY Oswego,” she explained. “I’m excited about the opportunities this program will bring for my personal and professional growth.”
She learned about Oswego through her sister, “who took her master’s degree at SUNY Oswego around eight years ago,” she said.
“She had a positive experience during her time there and her recommendation and insights about the university influenced my decision to consider applying for an MBA at SUNY Oswego as well,” Altay added.
She said she decided to come to SUNY Oswego “for several reasons.”
“Firstly, I was drawn to the sense of community and the welcoming atmosphere that the university and its surrounding area offered. The environment in Oswego, especially being situated by a lake, had a significant impact on me,” she said.
“Moreover, the quality of the business faculties at SUNY Oswego was impressive and aligned well with my academic and career aspirations. I believed that pursuing an MBA here would provide me with a strong foundation and open up various opportunities for my future.”
Additionally, she said she was attracted to the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. The fact that the Oswego community embraces and supports diversity was “an essential factor” in her decision-making process.
“Food — I have found the variety and taste of the dishes to be great. One of my favorite places is Rudy’s, where you can enjoy delicious fish while gazing at the beautiful lake view. When the weather is good, it’s an amazing spot to spend time,” she said. “Additionally, the presence of a fruit and vegetable bazaar has been a pleasant surprise, providing fresh and diverse produce options.”
On the language front, she said she has faced some challenges.
“Although I had some prior knowledge of English, I had never used it extensively before coming here,” she said. “I’m still working on improving my language skills. But it has been a valuable learning experience.”
As for the weather, the winter has been the most significant adjustment for her.
“I have never seen so much snow before and it can be a bit difficult — especially since I’m living off-campus. However, I’m adapting to it, and the experience of winter in Oswego has been unlike anything I’ve experienced before,” she said.
Altay describes her experience at SUNY Oswego as “absolutely fantastic.”
“I’m currently in my third semester and I couldn’t be happier with my time here. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting amazing students, staff and professors who genuinely care about the well being and success of the students,” she said.
One of the most significant advantages of being an international student at SUNY Oswego is the opportunity to work on campus for up to 20 hours a week, she noted.
“I consider myself lucky to have the chance to work in my field of study as a student worker at the study abroad accounting side. The two staff members I work with are simply amazing — they not only teach me many valuable things, but they do it with a constant smile on their faces. Their approach to work makes it feel more like a fun learning experience rather than just a job,” she said. “I also applied for a summer internship here, which was a bit of a lengthy process with paperwork involved. However, starting early allowed me to secure a position at the nine charter schools district office. This internship has been an incredible learning opportunity and I’ve gained extensive knowledge in my field during my time there.”