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From Medicine to Software Engineering

Ekremina shares her story as a newly recruited Software Engineer Intern.

Emine Ekremina Arik
Emine Ekremina Arik

Tell Us About Your Background

I came to England from Turkey when I was 18 years old. Originally, I wanted to work as a nurse after studying medicine, however the UK didn’t accept my diploma. I applied for university in 2016, but the student finance did not accept my application having not lived in UK for more than three years at the time. As a result, I started working as a warehouse operative at Amazon, where I stayed for two years.

I then went on to become a warehouse team leader at Smiths News for three and half years where I managed a large team. I started university one year later when I was eligible to apply again, studying Software Engineering.

I then began working as an admin analyst at Robert Dyas in October 2020. My manager there supported me, and I grew. I was responsible for reporting and data analysis, and this was one of my best experiences.

I had to work full- time alongside a full-time degree to be able to support myself and my family back home in Turkey. Unfortunately, my mum had an accident last year and suffered 70% burns to her body and was in ICU for three months. Throughout lockdown I juggled continuing to work with travelling back and forth to Turkey where my mother lives on a one-week-on one-week-off basis as I had to support her. I would go to university from 9-5 and then work from 5:30 pm until 2 am until June 2021.

I believe in the value of putting the hard work in. I knew what I was capable of, was determined to achieve more, and believed that the girl from six years ago must follow her dreams. I try not to let my past define me, and I know that what I do today will help me to create a future for my mum, my sister, and me.


What brought you to PS? Why did you choose the path that you are on?

As I was studying Software Engineering, I wanted to do an internship to help boost my experience and utilize the skills I was learning. Whilst all my studies have been online, I decided to apply for an internship at Publicis Sapient in early 2021.

I am an active LinkedIn user and connected with Cara Neale, on the Early Careers team, who told me about the internship opportunity, and I applied. Not many students have the opportunity to undertake an internship somewhere reputable whilst studying, so I felt very grateful.

I caught myself by surprise entering this field after studying medicine, but it excites me to be part of something that is changing the world.

“I feel my story is proof that if you put in the effort and work with a clear focus on your goals, then everything is achievable. Through belief, I knew I would achieve something one day and now I am sitting here, I am very happy!”

What excites you most about your Software Engineering internship?

I’m excited to learn and improve myself, and to be a valuable part of a team that wants to create innovative applications. It’s important to me to get the most out of this experience. There is continuous learning involved in the Early Careers software engineering internship and I find myself learning something new every day which is very exciting.

I really am living my dream, and this is exciting for me. I hope I can be the voice for anyone who wants to change something in their life – that is my goal.


What are you enjoying most about your internship so far? And, what are you hoping to achieve?

I love the team and the warm welcome from PS so far, I have been treated as an employee already. The best thing about this internship is that I get the opportunity for hands-on experience. I feel grateful and privileged that I found myself in this company where I can gain new skills and apply them to real projects. I am looking forward to getting started with our client and Corporate Social Responsibility projects. 

With my internship, I am looking to learn as much as I can and of course, I am hoping if I work hard enough and make an impact, I will be successful with a job offer ias part of the Early Careers graduate program at the end.  

In the long term, I want to be a software engineer, but I also want to be a role model for those who have struggled to show that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It may not always seem like it, but I feel my story is proof that if you put in the effort and work with a clear focus on your goals, then everything is achievable. Through belief, I knew I would achieve something one day and now I am sitting here, I am very happy!


What have you learned?

I have learned how our PS culture encourages connection and collaboration coming together to create valuable impact for clients. My awareness has been increased through sessions regarding unconscious bias and I have found how important soft skills are alongsidetechnical skills within the wider business world. 

Moreover, we have been doing foundational training to prepare us for the projects coming up and I have found them very useful and relative to my subject of study.


How would you describe your experience at PS to date? 

The organization is very inclusive. From the very first day, we were introduced to the core values and the culture at PS. I already feel like I am part of the Publicis Sapient family and my colleagues and peers have been amazing and welcoming. It is so great to be part of a company where I know regardless of my background, I am included, valued, and heard.


What’s next for you?

I want to be part of Publicis Sapient’s Next!


Learn more about our Early Careers program here. 

Emine Ekremina Arik
Emine Ekremina Arik
Software Engineer Intern, London
Ekremina is constantly learning: she studies Udemy courses, programming courses and JavaScript. When she isn’t learning something new, she likes to jog, read books and whenever possible spend time with her family over video chats.

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