Ugur Dura

January 2023

Could you tell us a little bit about your background and why you signed up for the mentoring program?

My name is Ugur Dura. Recently I finished my bachelor’s at the Izmir University of Economics and planning to start my Master’s at the Technical University of Munich soon. My major was Genetics and Bioengineering. Also, I had a double major in Software Engineering. I joined this mentoring program to receive insights about the software industry and startup culture to improve my perspective and lead my carrier.

If you had to tell us one thing you learned during these months of mentoring, what would it be?

At the beginning of my bachelor’s degree in Genetics and Bioengineering, I understood the significance of data, information, and knowledge. At those times, Ms. Melda was mentoring me. When I realized the importance of computational sciences in biology, I discussed with Ms. Melda on software era. Based on what we discussed, I decided to start my double major in software engineering to have a deeper understanding of both fields. Thanks to Melda’s suggestion, software discipline introduced me to a powerful tool to conduct my research combined with the domain knowledge of biology that borders my creativity.

What are your expectations/what do you want to achieve by the end of the program?

I aimed to learn how to start a business and scale it up, what are the main challenges and how to overcome those obstacles. Moreover, I wanted to learn the main functioning or operational units of a software company, specifically key units of a startup company. At the end of the program, I wanted to learn how to start a software business from scratch and survive in the industry.

What is the best advice you have received from your Mentor?

While I was working in an industry-leading software startup, I realized that many risks should be taken in business decisions. Most importantly, a comprehensive risk assessment should be performed to understand its return. Ms. Melda told me that you can’t be a strong manager without failing a company or making wrong decisions. Each mistake that a manager had will have a great gaining along the way. Furthermore, she showed me the relationship between employer and employee is the most important aspect of running a business. Weekly meetings with each employee to discuss possible drawbacks/challenges improve each employee’s company identity over time. Removing hierarchical borders and reaching out to each employee is an essential characteristic that a leader should have.

What would you tell someone who is considering applying to be a Mentee in the future?

I would strongly suggest having such an experience. Having a person in your life who overcame many obstacles over time might prevent you from do the same mistakes in your own path. Ms Akin is the best mentor that I have ever met who is experienced in the field along with many achievements. Having a mentor like her will improve your problem-solving skills. She will show you how to behave or decide against hard situations.

What actions or practices would you like to see in the Technology sector to help you reach your goals?

In my opinion, the technology sector should give more opportunities to younger generations (juniors). The biggest obstacle against this approach is that many tech companies do not prefer giving main tasks to juniors to prevent defects in the end product. I would suggest that companies might start junior training programs that provide specially designed pilot projects instead of end-user products. Thanks to this approach, juniors may toughen under comprehensive projects to have complete onboarding.

What our mentees say?


My expectation was to ask and answer the right questions for myself to find out what my goals are, where I could be more successful, and what actions I need to take to reach my potential.


I am Buse, working as an Applied Scientist at Amazon, Luxembourg. I studied Computer and Industrial Engineering


Having a person in your life who overcame many obstacles over time might prevent you from do the same mistakes in your own path