Enjoying the Present Moment: Alumna Canseli Yuce

Born and raised in the Puglia region of Italy, alumna Canseli Yuce graduated in 2019 with a B.A. in International Affairs and a minor in Marketing. Canseli is currently working at the Italian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey while pursuing an M.Sc. in International Development at SOAS University of London.

Canseli Yuce

Canseli Yuce

Tell us about your background.
My family is originally from Turkey, so I was lucky enough to grow up in a bilingual household. Ever since I was little, we spoke both Italian and Turkish at home, often mixing the two languages. I developed a passion for languages and in particular, for English, which is mainly what brought me to JCU. I also studied foreign languages in high school and during my last year, I decided I wanted to further my studies in English and JCU was one of the few universities in Italy offering this opportunity.

Congratulations on being hired at the Italian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. What does your role entail?
I started working for the Italian Embassy in Turkey in June 2021 with a temporary contract. In October 2021, there was an opening for a permanent position, which I was pleased to qualify for. I am currently working at the consular office, which I find to be one of the most interesting offices.

You hold a B.A. in International Affairs with a minor in Marketing. How did your studies at JCU help you with your career?
Regardless of the path you choose to follow, studying at JCU gives you a career-oriented preparation. Once you enter the workforce, you come to realize how important it is to enrich yourself with knowledge during your undergraduate studies, because even the most apparently irrelevant thing that you learn in class might come in handy at any point in life, as it did for me. After graduating, I worked in the marketing field for almost a year before my current position. Hence, I advise prospective students to try to combine their major with a minor, if possible.

What’s one class/professor that had the most impact on you and why?
The professor I miss and admire the most is Professor Silvia Scarpa. I have taken numerous classes with her and each one inspired me on many different levels. Her passion for her profession transpires during her lectures. Professor Scarpa guided me throughout and after my studies. She was truly my mentor. I remember talking to her over the summer of 2019 after graduation and listening to her advice on how to find happiness in your work, even if it is not yet your dream job, and to never give up.

You were the recipient of the Italian Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to deserving Italian students. What advice would you give to prospective students who would like to receive this scholarship?
JCU offers several merit-based scholarships, including the Italian Merit Scholarships, which are awarded primarily on academic achievement. These generous scholarships make earning your degree much more affordable and they significantly reduce your financial stress. Thus, my advice to prospective students is to not only try to perform well in high school but also to participate in extracurricular activities, as the most prestigious scholarships tend to go to students who stand out in several different areas.

How did extracurricular activities help you during your time at JCU?
While at JCU, each year I chose a different extracurricular activity to take part in. During my first semester, I initially decided to focus exclusively on my classes, because everything was new to me. Yet, I soon realized that I needed to get involved in student activities not only to try new things but also to meet new people, who eventually became my friends at JCU. Throughout the years, I was part of the Community Service Program, the Women’s Leadership Initiative, and Our Common Thread, a student project that I will always remember with gratitude as it allowed me to meet so many inspiring people, grow as a person and, most importantly, develop a sense of social responsibility.

What are your plans for the future?
I am currently pursuing my M.Sc. in International Development at SOAS University of London. I will hopefully graduate by 2023. As of now, my plans are to enjoy my job and study critical security studies. Despite being a big dreamer, I have learned not to think too far ahead and to take life as it is. I prefer being in the present moment and enjoying it.