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Your Oxford Story: Atinc Yilmaz
27 July 2022
As I complete a total of 10 years working for Sales and Marketing functions at Oxford University Press (OUP), I have been invited to tell my Oxford story. Thinking there would not be a better way to celebrate this, I found myself writing this!
I was in Primary school when I realized that I had grown an interest in learning English. When compared with other subjects, I always enjoyed English lessons and it was crystal clear by all means. This interest grew bigger in lower-secondary school and my direction was already set. The New Oxford Picture Dictionary had been my first OUP title without any single idea that one day I was going to contribute to the development, promote, and sell not only dictionaries but also many more products. Having gone back to those years, I cannot just go on without mentioning Streamline English by Bernard Hartley & Peter Viney, the audio-lingual course that made thousands of students speak English confidently! I owe that course a lot.
At university, I studied English Language & Literature as a result of my deep interest in English language. I could not stop engaging myself with more content and right after receiving my teaching certificate, I started teaching English. Wondering about the materials I used back then? They were Pacesetter Plus and Skillzone that completed each other. During that year, I also had the chance of working closely with Bill Bowler, co-author of the topic-based coursebook Happy Earth that we were using, who was providing his consultancy for English Language Teaching to the schools group, asked me if I would consider a career in publishing. As a young teacher that never thought about working for a publisher, it sounded interesting. Then, I applied to OUP and started working as an Education Consultant. Already a passionate traveler, frequent business travels were not difficult. In the meantime, I tried to develop myself constantly, did my best to learn everything to do my job better, and worked hard. While doing that, I genuinely tried to expand my personal learning network while having fun, which I think is essential to success.
For me, OUP has been a place in which I experienced real collaboration and learned how fantastic it is to become a member of a team that rocks. This meant many things to me since I had my team not only when there was something to celebrate, but also when we faced negative situations to stay strong. On the other hand, I always received continuous professional development from the Press. I believe, these are still real positive support that increases my satisfaction and I feel connected to OUP more. Also, I need to mention that I always felt I’m in a strong organization. I’m grateful that there have been many occasions I was able to feel that.
Having joined the Press as an Educational Consultant and then switching to Marketing has been interesting. When I look back, I can see lots of proud moments in both roles that are truly remarkable. These include a number of sales related successes as well as being able not only to manage marketing related improvements but also to contribute to publishing strategy. From looking back over my 10 years at OUP, to looking to the future, I believe we also have a lot we can still achieve and I’m happy to be working alongside so many talented, aspirational, and competent people.