Indupuli Wickramasinghe, Level 1
How was the transition from your school life, to entering the Department of Industrial Management, in order to start your university life?
Just after I finished school studies in the year 2018, I was eagerly looking forward to entering a state university. Fortunately, I received the entry letter for the degree program that I wanted to enroll in. It is the B.Sc. in MIT degree program in University of Kelaniya. In March 2020, I came to the Department of Industrial Management as a fresh undergraduate. Since it is our freshmen year, lecturers and seniors interact and cooperate with us in academics and other co-curricular activities. It is a new chapter of my life where I get to experience people with different cultural and religious backgrounds from all over the country. Working together with people who have different experiences made me realize the value of working together as a team.
Can you brief us about the experience of spending the first academic year mostly in a virtual setup?
I came to the university with the intention of making new friends while continuing the learning process, however, the new COVID-19 regulations demand all classes are to be held virtually. I am deeply concerned about the virtual learning methods, which seem to be less effective than classroom interactions.
Despite all the technical difficulties and limitations, the academic staff did their very best to deliver an exceptional educational experience. It is very stressful to learn all day through a laptop without any human interaction because some subjects require hands-on practical experience. However, I am very grateful for the fact that even when we have to compromise some aspects, we still get the best education.
How has the challenge of lost social contact impacted you so far, especially as an early undergraduate?
Unlike previous years, as firstyear students this year, we lost the opportunity to adapt to the university environment and the culture. First-year students had a massive impact on the virtual learning process throughout the entire university system, since they are new to the whole learning process and university culture. It is unfortunate that friends in the same batch have to be contacted through a phone or laptop. It is difficult to understand different personalities in a virtual manner. I hope our first year would have been much more successful if we had social contacts as in previous years.
How would you see yourself throughout the upcoming years as an undergraduate?
Especially, as an MIT undergraduate who is following a unique combination of Management and IT, I hope to gain knowledge in both fields to be an iconic personality in the corporate world.
It is also important to improve and sharpen soft skills, since it is an essential factor in finding employment in the future. Participation in club activities would greatly improve my language as well as the teamwork experience.
I am looking forward to starting some sports activities as soon as campus premises open for students. We need to have a balanced way of studies and co-curricular activities in order to have a unique set of skills as an undergraduate.