A small step from a long journey | ScholarX

I was at that point, waiting for something special to happen and for some kind of a miracle. All of us wait for that moment. Isn't it? Since we all are stuck in that maze of new normal, connecting and disconnecting, joining and leaving, turning on and turning off, online lectures, exams, PDFs and lecture recordings Bla Bla Bla… The list goes on and on…

But to my surprise, it happened to appear on my LinkedIn feed. An opportunity I have never thought of before. ScholarX mentorship programme by Sustainable Education. It is an opportunity to groom myself with more knowledge and experience. Since I started my undergraduate life I needed to have someone for advice on career development and to choose between academia and industry. However, it was difficult to reach someone who specialized in my subject and pursued happiness. But ScholarX seemed to be the place to get answers for all those questions in my mind. So why wait for more? Just a click and I finished filling in my application after going through the details of the programme. Though I had so many questions in my head and zero answers for all those questions at that moment, without any hesitation I could take my step out of my comfort zone and able to step into a long journey.

What is ScholarX?

Sustainable Education Foundation (SEF) is a volunteer-driven organization aiming to create non-traditional learning opportunities for local students. One of its initiatives ScholarX, a six-month mentorship programme creates opportunities for local students by connecting them with industry/academic professionals in their relevant fields. During the program, local undergraduates will gain access to mentoring from experts and outstanding talent from around the world in both Industry and Academia.

With the procedures happening in the mentorship program, I was so curious to know who is going to be my mentor and wondering about the things I can learn, the experiences I can share and the questions I can ask. It is a rare opportunity that an undergraduate in Sri Lanka can get, to get mentored by a person who has pursued happiness in the same field of subject.

My mentor

Later on, I was so excited to know that my mentor is Mahendrini Fernando Ariyachandra a final year PhD candidate in the Construction Information Technology (CIT) Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. Characterising methods that can generate and update building and infrastructure digital twins using computer vision and pattern recognition technologies in her doctoral research, she specializes in Construction Automation, BIM & Construction Economics. With two zoom meetings now we are on the right path and able to manage our schedules though we have time differences. I could get to know experiences of her uni life and academic life as a researcher at the University of Cambridge. After understanding my goals and expectations from this mentorship program, she is guiding me to work on an academic paper on an unsolved issue in the Construction industry of Sri Lanka. I work to come up with possible solutions and to a have better impact on society.

We never know how opportunities will come to us. What’s most important is doing the best always! Till I come up with the next article keep growing yourself.

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