Yagmur Akgul ’18 began to play tennis at the age of 6. Growing up in Istanbul, she became so adept at the sport that she made Turkey’s international team, played professionally for a while, and traveled the world for matches. Akgul has been a star on the Babson tennis team as well. But she doesn’t spend all her time on the court.
When playing tennis, how many countries did you travel to? I’m not sure. But I’ve been to countries that nobody even knows about, like Kyrgyzstan, and places that most people don’t usually travel to for a vacation. I went to Algeria. I went to Oman, Abu Dhabi, Dubai. I love to travel. It’s different cultures everywhere you go. I have friends all around the world.
Where have you traveled to recently for fun? I went to Los Angeles for the Thanksgiving break. My friend’s aunt lives there, and she invited us. My closest friends are also international, so we don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving. She was like, come here, and we can do our own Thanksgiving dinner. I like LA’s culture of being so laid back. There’s sun every day when you wake up. It’s so nice.
Outside of tennis, what are you involved with at Babson? I have a scholarship from CWEL [Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership]. We have special events all the time. I love it. It’s going to be a network for me for life. They’re some of the first people that I met other than the tennis team.
What else? I started the Turkish Club. I knew there were so many Turkish people here, like 11 freshman just this year. So I was really surprised that there was no club when I first came. I started it this year, and it’s been going really well. We did some little events, like Turkish coffee, Turkish tea nights in Coleman. Our first big event is a dinner with the Boston Turkish Consulate with President Healey at her house. It’s a huge dinner and then a reception.
Will you go home this summer? I’m doing an internship with a friend of mine from Babson in London. Weirdly, I love the weather there. It’s rainy and cloudy, but I love that. And I really, really want to go to Wimbledon.
What do you miss the most about Turkey? My sister. And I, of course, miss my parents, too, but sometimes they come to visit me and she never does because she is in high school, and she’s going through the same things I had been going through. She’s playing tennis, and she’s traveling to the countries that I went to. I FaceTime her a lot.—Donna Coco