Meet TurkishWINner: Çiğdem Penn

Çiğdem Penn is an experienced researcher with twenty years of expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. She is the&n...

Çiğdem Penn is an experienced researcher with twenty years of expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. She is the General Manager of ‎Xsights Research & Consultancy. Çiğdem is a TurkishWIN speaker and long time change maker in our community.  A founding member of BinYaprak, "Ilk Yaprak," she is a big supporter of BinYaprak as our research partner. 

Congrats on your ESOMAR "Making a Difference Award" Çiğdem! Xsights Research & Consultancy team made us proud by bringing this award for the first time to Turkey. 

She is well versed in both high-profile and international projects. A graduate of the London School of Economics and political science, Çiğdem focused on change management and resistance to change in the context of organizational culture and started her career in management consulting. She then moved into market research and worked in two of the biggest agencies in the UK. In 2006, Çiğdem started her own research consultancy, Xsights in London and opened the Turkish branch in 2010. She has been delivering results-driven research ever since, both in Turkey and internationally. 

Çiğdem is a member of ESOMAR, the Market Research Society and the Turkish Researchers Association and is the founding president of the Turkey and Nepal Business Council. Çiğdem has lived in Kathmandu for three years consulting with the United Nations, is now based in Turkey. Çiğdem Penn, a frequent public speaker, and an occasional columnist, and speaks French and English fluently.

Now, let's get to know Çiğdem! 

What do you do for a living?

Tell us more about you. I am a market researcher, a strategy consultant, a winemaker, and a hotel owner.

What's the best piece of advice you've received?

Love the work you do, do the work your love...

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Both depending on the occasion…

One thing you wish you had known earlier in your career?

The sky is the limit!

If you could have any three people (dead or alive) over for dinner – who would they be?

Slavoj Zizek, Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Marina Abramovic

Name a book you read that positively shaped you.

The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle

You believe in the sisterhood at work because… It is the only way forward and that the future is female.

Who are your role models?

I do not have any, I have been known for speaking my own mind, doing what I think is right, and shaping my own path. While I believe we have a lot to learn from each other, I believe that every each of us is unique…

 If you can explain your personality like food; which food and why?

I would be a ‘ Millefeuille aux fraises ‘. I am sweet, multi-layered but crunchy too.

You have a car trip from İstanbul to Bodrum. Choose a famous person to join you and tell us why!

I would choose Fernando Alonso, as I enjoy fast driving and would not mind learning a bit of Spanish...

If you had one superpower, what would it be?

I would like to read the minds and hearts of people instantly without asking questions :)

Describe yourself as a teenager in 3 words

Dark, geeky and romantic

Last book you read or are reading now

Bilgin Saydam AraFdalıklar, this is a wonderful book about psychodynamics and mythology. I have just finished reading it; Saydam adds a wonderful perspective in life while stimulating the reader intellectually.

If you have a time machine to which era do you want to travel in time? Which era? Past or future and why?

I would love to travel into the future, I am a very curious person and would like to learn how life will be 1000 years from now.

What's your favorite thing in your closet right now?

A very pretty dress my husband chose for me.

If you weren’t in your industry – what would you be doing?

I would have like to be an artist...

You are walking on the street and suddenly, you come across Mona Lisa. What do you do?

Smile back at her and thank her for having such a precious smile.

You have your own talk show on tv and your childhood self is your guest. What would be your first question to her?

Where have you been ?... ;)

If you were to create the 5. Season, what would be her name, and how would be the weather in your Season?

I would call it Hope, it would be the season of positive thinking and staying in the moment. There will be a gentle summer breeze from the sea, spring scent of the mountains, a deep blue sky, and unexpected short sessions of monsoon rain...

Well, we asked her some other questions! For the answers, watch her TurkishWIN Career Day Talk here! 

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