Işıl Sevilay Yılmaz graduated from Ankara Atatürk Anatolian High School in 1997. She received her BSc degree from the Economics Department of Middle East Technical University in 2001. In the same year, she also received a minor degree from the City and Regional Planning Department of Middle East Technical University. She continued her education at the Department of Business Administration of Middle East Technical University and received her MBA degree in 2003 with a thesis titled "An Analysis of Stock Splits in the Istanbul Stock Exchange". After graduation, she worked at Tax and Legal Services Department of PricewaterhouseCoopers İstanbul Office and received the title of Certified Public Accountant in 2005. After 2005, she worked in various private sector companies as a financial consultant. In 2016, she received her PhD in Business Administration from Bilkent University with her thesis titled "Mergers and Acquisitions during Financial Crises". During her graduate studies, she worked as a teaching assistant for courses such as corporate finance, capital markets and institutions, and also taught international finance.