Seray Pulluk (Class of 2012)
As a former intern for both the UN Political Affairs & Partnerships Office in Switzerland and the IKV Economic Development Foundation in Turkey, Seray Pulluk has covered a lot of ground internationally. She calls Toronto home, however, and it was at Hudson first that her friends and teachers made her feel truly welcome.
“I came to Toronto from Turkey for Grade 11…I attended a different school before coming to Hudson for Grade 12,” she remembers. “When I visited Hudson [for the first time] I immediately felt comfortable and safe. It seemed like a small community that actually values its students…and both the principal and staff were really helpful with my transition to Hudson and to the city overall.”
Since she was child, Seray was already interested in political science and the world around her. But she cites the Hudson community as helpful in guiding her to the major she chose at University of Toronto, from which she graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and European Studies.
“Oh, I wanted to study political science since I was like nine,” she laughs. “I would listen and talk about the Iraq War, which is kind of not normal for a nine-year-old. I’m not sure why, but I still have some letters that I wrote my friends and family where I talk about it.”
Seray says she was naturally curious about what was going on in the world and wanted to work somewhere where she could give back. When she attended Hudson, she was able to connect the dots through a strong community of friends, who in some ways, pointed her in the right direction of which college, which campus, and more.
As Seray continued through university and beyond, she gained some applicable skills within international organizations and think tanks, working for the Istanbul Policy Center as a Fellowship Program Assistant, UNICEF in Turkey, and the Consulate General of Turkey in Toronto. She is currently working as a coordinator for a government-funded organization (as part of MaRS Discovery District) called Opportunity For All Youth (O4AY), a national employer-led coalition focused on hiring and retaining youth who are not in education, employment, or training to meet business talent needs. By working with youth, Seray feels she can effect change and make an impact.
“We’re trying to understand youth unemployment in Canada,” she says. “How can we create a system so that the youth can have more meaningful experiences when they are trying to get a job and keep that job.”
Throughout her journey, Seray remembers Hudson as a place where, overall, teachers and friends were inspiring, supportive, and willing to help and listen.
“Hudson gave me hope,” she says. “It was an open environment [that encouraged] communication between the students and teachers…it gave me the support I needed to not only apply to schools, but to succeed.”