Kiyak began working at the International Business Center (IBC, or MSU-CIBER) while earning his doctorate. As outreach coordinator, he works with Michigan companies looking to export products. In the pre-Internet search days, he started a website, now called globalEDGE, that gathers resources for international business. He serves as managing director of the Academy of International Business (AIB). Kiyak also teaches data analysis.
Tunga Kiyak discovered he was meant for a career in business while tinkering with radio transmitters for Radio Free Europe in Switzerland.
“I was hired as a programmer, and they were asking me to program all these features,” says Kiyak, who at the time had a bachelor’s degree in engineering. “I kept asking how do people use them, what do they need? The managers would say, ‘Stop asking all these questions and just do what we tell you.’ It kind of bothered me. I had the engineering skills, but I was really more into how customers used these things, and I wanted to have the bigger picture.”
Kiyak decided to earn an MBA, and he enrolled at Broad. A native of Turkey, he was interested in international business and worked at MSU’s International Business Center, where he’s now the outreach coordinator. Ultimately, he decided to pursue his Ph.D.
As he earned his doctorate and continued with the IBC, Kiyak was hired as managing director at the Academy of International Business, where he works with Michigan companies looking to export products. He also started a website, now called globalEDGE, that gathered resources for international business. The website launched in the pre-Internet search days.
“The only search was an academic tool,” Kiyak says. “I had to convince people that it would be a good thing for other people to access our computers to get information.”
The site became very successful, with textbooks featuring content taken from it and requests for guidance and feedback pouring in continuously.
“Now it’s a monster,” Kiyak says. “The reach of the site is something that makes me happy all the time.”
Despite his many commitments, Kiyak finds time for yearly international travel and for “reading whatever I can get my hands on. I’m an information junkie. And my engineering background still left me so very much into technology, so I buy new products, test them and follow tech blogs.”
In addition to his work with the AIB and IBC, Kiyak teaches data analysis. He’s been happy to stay in Michigan, he says, because of its combination of natural beauty and access to large multinational corporations.
“As you dig deeper, you find so many multinational corporations that people are familiar with but don’t realize are Michigan-based,” he says. “At Broad, we’re in the center of all of those, and we get to have close relationships with them.
“I enjoy teaching MBAs a lot,” he adds. “This is a small, intimate program. Being able to see where the students are coming from and where they’re going is interesting and rewarding – how we get to contribute to their careers and their lives. We get to see how their future careers get shaped here, and that’s a lot of fun.”