Ömer Güngōr, a student at St. Petersburg Mining University, was always interested in mechanical engineering, which is nowadays one of the leading sectors of Turkey’s economy, alongside tourism.
“I was born in Ankara. Yet a schoolboy, I already knew what I wanted to do – design, manufacture, and service various machines, equipment, and spare parts. There are many universities in my country, but I wanted to explore international study opportunities. Our youth mostly follows the same path, with many leaving for the US, Europe or Asia. Of all the options, I chose to go to Russia. And I must admit my friends were shocked – in their eyes, it was a completely crazy decision to move out of Turkey to ‘cold and harsh’ Russia.”
“I can’t say I had no concerns either: a different culture and living environment are indeed the reasons to worry. I was also warned of differences in mentality. But I knew I did not leave to get a tan,” recalls Ömer.
The Turkish student participated in the annually organized contest, held by Rossotrudnichestvo, an organization responsible for promoting Russian education services abroad. The competition winners receive a quota enabling free studies in one of the Russian universities. According to Ömer, the year he applied over 500 school graduates competed for 56 quotas.
Why did he choose Mining University? To this question, Ömer answers that it was a carefully weighed decision. He did a lot of research, browsed through global university rankings, compared various study programs, and finally, settled on St. Petersburg Mining University.
“I was looking for an educational program that would encompass all aspects of mechanical engineering. I found what I wanted at Mining University, and I believe I made the right decision. My specialization is ‘Technologies, Equipment, and Automation of Engineering Industries’. Once I complete my education, I’ll be able to work, for example, in the aircraft industry; alternatively, I can engineer mining equipment or manufacture household appliances and electronics. My utmost dream is, nonetheless, to work in space engineering,” says Ömer.
While the student is earning a Bachelor’s degree, he is already thinking of continuing his education and applying for the Master’s program. Ömer says he hopes to get a job at Roscosmos, a Russian corporation, responsible for space flights, cosmonautics programs, and aerospace research, upon completion of his studies.
He would like to gain some practical experience there, and after moving back home, apply for work at the Turkish Space Agency. He believes that skills and knowledge acquired in Russia, a homeland of Yuri Gagarin, will guarantee him a job in the space industry.
“…And hopefully, a title of a Turkish ‘Elon Musk’,” adds, with a smile, Ömer.