They say; “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans’’… Especially If you are in the beginning of your 20s, this is how exactly things work out… But Melisa is here with all of her maturity to make you forget all these statements. When we combine the intense MA degree education on finance in New York, the top-end relationship with art and distanced but spot-on attitude on fashion of hers, our desire to get to know her better strucks us more and more. “I learn more when I’m curious and I’m getting more curious when I learn” Melisa says, we already feel close to her like we’ve been known each other for a long time, keep reading and go on a advanture between New York and Istanbul with us.

if you understand the main reasons behind failures, you can protect yourself with maneuvers  when you face with the same mistakes and issues.

The time in between the college graduation and the period that we discover what we want in life, points out the most stressfull times. How was this decision period for you?

The first month is I spent with thinking about what I want and consulting to my mom and family. After that, my three month internship started in Abraaj. Then the orientation in Sabancı Holding is followed that for a year. I’ve met with our managers and directors while visiting the companies, recognised different sectors, learnt dynamics. I’ve started to work on my master degree after I had a vision as macro level. In the mean time I’ve started to work as an intern in PwC, to improve my financial reading-writing and to strengthen my interpretation. I’ve planned this period with my family, I’ve identified my needs with their support, then I’ve used my opportunities. The most important thing in this period is to focus on to get to know yourself better.

What is your master degree field?

My concentration is economical and political development, my specialize is on management.

Your future plans?

To get to know better about business models of different sectors and to be able to find the right place for me after I finish the school.

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How is your upbringing effected your perspective on life?

My parents taught me to care and respect people just because they are human. Not only human beings, they made me love all kind of beings. This is why I can easily communicate with people in every environment. Thus, it makes more easier for me to adapt a situation. My parents taught me about discipline as well… I grew up with the sense of working and making an effort all the time to get what I want. My mother made me do sports when I was little; I’ve started to horse riding. A horse doesn’t treat you specially and differently, it behaves the same no matter who you are. You can only be successful with your riding. I see the life in the same way. I learned and directed my vision when I was very young by knowing that if I can be successful, I’ll do it with my own effort. This is why I feel quite lucky.

A regular day for Melisa?

I wake up early and feed my dog… Then I turn my music on and get ready in 15 mins. Usually I go to gym after school. If I have a free time in daytime, I go to a museum or a gallery. But I don’t usually have that opportunity. My lessons are quite difficult, and in between the classes, gym and homeworks the day ends. I attend talks at school when I have time. The most successful speakers in their specializations are coming to the school and you have a chance to meet them after the seminars. In the weekends we remove the school from this equation and fill it with friends. I definitely try to add something that makes me happy like going to galleries, theatres, etc. to my weekly plan.

Can intellectual curiosity be feed?

I learn more when I’m curious and I’m getting more curious when I learn. I’m lost in this loop. (Laughs)

The irreplaceable thing about New York?

Improvement!

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What is the “thing” in Istanbul that makes it different than the other cities for you?

Stories! They are all around the city.

Modern artists who have influenced you lately?

Ayşe Erkmen, Refik Anadol, Taner Ceylan, Fahrelnisa Zeid, Erdoğan Zümrütoğlu, Marina Abromavic, Murakami, Jeff Koons, Kaws, Ai Wei Wei, Anish Kapoor, Kusama… It is really hard to make a list!

How do you interpret the social media usage as a gallery space by the new generation modern art representers?

One of the most important problem in art is liquidity, artists suffer a lot to make money. To reach a gallery, can be difficult for the new artists. In addition, they have to share their earnings with the gallery. Most of the galleries have liquidity problems too. It is not easy to sell an art piece, big or small. There is the same issue in every gallery. This situation forces artists and galleries to use social media to increase their visibility. I see this as an opportunity.

What is the most boring question about art for you?

What do you think is the price of this art piece?

How do you feed your soul?

The love of children and animals, music, art, meditation, the times that I spend with my loved ones, tiny-tiny favors that I make, sometimes saying hi to someone who passers-by… What gives me peace in that moment feeds me!

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How do you describe peace?

To be in the mood to make others happy… It needs, to get on with the moment that you are in, love, tranquility, effort and tolerance.

Do you consubstantiate success with being a hardworker or being a good observer?

It is very important to be a hardworker for success, but if you work on wrong thing, this can be turn into a waste of time. This is why,
it is enough neither to be a hardworker nor to be a good observer. Success, is to combine these two in a right way and in the mean
time to combine the other factors that life brings to you. I believe what Jack Ma said; “If you want to be successful, learn from the failured ones.”, because accomplishers success by too many factors coming in together. But if you understand the main reasons behind failures, you can protect yourself with manuevers when you face with the same mistakes and issues.

What is the most influencing improvement for you lately?

The projects that make life easier for disabled people with artificial intelligents (ai) are amazing!

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Photography by Burcu Karademir