Unless you spend a rather large amount of your time reading medical journals, you may not know much about Sabiha Saklayen, the CEO of Cellino Biotech. That said, she has been accomplishing some great things, as has the company she so lovingly looks after. If you’re curious to know more about her, here are 10 things that you probably didn’t expect.
1. She’s always had a curious nature
According to Saklayen, part of her natural curiosity comes from the fact that she was born in Saudi Arabia, then grew up in Germany. As such, she had the chance to experience different cultures and with that, different lifestyles. She says this made her more curious about the way people live. Not just those with backgrounds similar to her own, but people from all walks of life. In fact, her lifestyle only served to make her want to learn more about others. She has a self-proclaimed interest in gaining deeper knowledge through understanding people’s differences.
2. She loves learning, regardless of its nature
She has always had a thirst for knowledge. Even when she was very young, she had a habit of wanting to find out as much as she possibly could about a subject, even when it was something that she wasn’t directly involved with. That is at least in part what has helped her experience so much success throughout her career. She always puts in the extra work in order to know more as opposed to cutting things short.
3. She strongly believes in breaking down cultural barriers
As previously mentioned, she has been exposed to a number of different cultures from a young age. That has helped her understand that there are far more things that make people similar than different. As such, she is a strong believer in breaking down barriers related to culture, gender and sexual identity. She believes that people should be celebrated for their achievements, not pushed off to the side because they don’t fit into someone else’s tidy little box.
4. She has a head for complex mathematics
She has a degree in physics, so there is no doubt that she has seen more than her fair share of math problems that seem to have no end. Some people are just gifted when it comes to solving these types of things. Fortunately, she is one of the few who can not only handle the challenge, but also find the correct answer with relative ease.
5. She founded the company while she was still in college
While she was attending her final year for her Ph.D. at Harvard, she got the idea for Cellino Biotech. She says that she started working on it right away, but it was more of a class project than anything else at the particular point in time. While she never dreamed that things would move as quickly as they did, she dedicated all her effort to it. Before she was out of school, she already had her startup.
6. She knows how important it is to seize the moment
She says she has never understood how people can look directly at an opportunity that is right in front of them and then fail to capitalize on it. Hard work and dedication will open doors, but when the doors do open, you have to be willing to walk through them. Even if it doesn’t work out, you have the satisfaction of at least knowing that you tried. If you just walk away, you may never even realize what you could be throwing away.
7. She has learned that every person really does control their own destiny
She has said in the past that one important thing she has learned throughout her life is that every person has the power to control what they want in their own life. In fact, she says that she has seen it first-hand. People can be met with all kinds of circumstances and not all of those circumstances will be under their control. That said, everyone can control how they respond to the things that happen to them and in doing so, they can find a way to control their own destiny. She says that the only person that will ever stop someone else from achieving their dream is that individual. As long as they refuse to allow anything to stop them, nothing will.
8. When things get hard for her, she doesn’t become a shrinking violet
She has been forced to confront some difficult circumstances in her life, like most people. As far as she's concerned, people basically have two choices when things get really difficult. They can shrink into the background, disappear and allow everything that is happening around them to destroy them or they can put their head down and push back so that they ultimately come through the experience stronger than when they started. She says that for her, there is no contest. She will choose the second option every time.
9. She wants people to know that there is never only one option
She thinks it is unfortunate that people are often led to believe that they have to choose the path that is directly in front of them when there are actually several options available. She believes that in large part, it is because people are often led to think that they have to choose only one career path, that every other possibility is wrong. She also thinks this line of thinking is rubbish and people should be allowed to think outside the box.
10. She believes you can be optimistic without being naive
She openly admits that she is a very optimistic individual, but she doesn't like it when people automatically think that she is naive because of her optimism. She says that it is indeed possible to be realistic about the state of the world without being ignorant. One doesn't have to be naive in order to hope that things can turn around and that tomorrow will be a better day.
Written by Allen Lee
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