A Very Long Road: Children’s Day Microphones to Master of Ceremony

We spoke with Özlem Onay Ardıyok on her career and being an MC, who decided to be a Master of Ceremony (MC) after a long corporate career.

Could you please tell us about yourself and your career?
I graduated from Marmara University’s English Business major. I studied marketing in university and after those 18 years of my career was on Brand Management and Marketing Communication. I began working at Abbott Lab’s product management department, after that I focused on marketing communication at Sony and after that I worked as a Turkey representative in Anne Klein New York, Ivy Oxfod and Dunlop Green Flash Shoes. I also worked as a Communication Manager at Promark A.Ş. and Reebok. For the last 8 years I was the Brand Manager and Marketing Communication Manager which is responsible for Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria at adidas. This year in April I left my corporate life to be a freelance master of ceremony and moderator.

How did you decide to leave the corporate life? What was your motivation?
My time at work was not balanced with my two kids. I wanted to spend more time with myself and my family because if we include my part time jobs, I have been working for 20 years without giving any break. Marketing communication has a very intense tempo and I had to travel a lot. So when I wasn’t spending enough time with my family I understood that I had to chose a different lifestyle for myself.

How did you decide to be a MC/moderator?
Singers have a cliché saying; I have been singing since 2 years old with the hair brush… That’s what happened to me. Because I had a different voice and I believe I had a serious style back then I was always the MC of the ceremonies in both elementary school and high school. I have been in front of a microphone in all May 19ths, October 29ths and April 23rds. After that, in my business life this became a natural part of my job description and sometimes because of the budget and sometimes because I was experienced I found myself moderating the events I organized. When I was thinking of something I could be able to manage my own time I decided to become an MC before I left my job.

Could you please tell us about Master of Ceremony (MC) and its relation to event sector? 
Master of Ceremony is presenting the event and managing the stage of the organization. Especially in corporate events it makes the organization more professional, raises its quality, makes it different and makes it unforgettable. It has a very high adrenaline. Because we need to fill in the blanks when necessary it needs a serious knowledge, crisis management talent, being coldblooded, the talent to empathize, practical intelligence, high concentration, perfect diction, a serious style and looks on stage, control of the stage and having a stage light and aura. It is one of the main jobs of the event sector.

How do you see the development of the event sector in Turkey? 
When you look at the situation from the brands’ point of view, event sector is very high quality in service. I see ambitious agencies who are working for customer satisfaction and who follows world trends very closely. The potential and the competition are very high and this makes the sector dynamic. When I look at it from inside, I can say that the occupational standards aren’t perfect yet and investment on people is still open to development. I believe that our sector will develop more and raise the stakes higher with ACE of M.I.C.E. which reviews the sector and gathers the service companies of brands.

Would you like to add anything?
Events always excited me. Now, I am a part of events as my main job not a part of my job and I’m very happy about this.