IIT is a well known academic body that offers well recognised degrees for the students all over Sri Lanka. With over 3,000 graduates that are currently empowering over 250 multinational and local blue-chip companies, the Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT) is renowned for producing innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders. And one of outstanding Business Leader is Nimashi Perera. An enterprising IIT graduate who has achieved much recognition in the IT industry. She is a past pupil of Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya and is currently employed as a Consultant – Business Consulting at Virtusa (Pvt) Ltd. She is an enthusiast in the IT industry, having a passion to break new ground in cutting edge technologies. Nimashi is also an active contributor and a humanitarian in corporate social responsibility initiatives where software developments skills are being utilized for social benefit.
What made you join IIT and what programme did you follow?
I schooled at Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya and as a child I intended to become either a lawyer or a software engineer. This was identified by my mother who encouraged me to start my education at IIT. I followed the University of Westminster, BEng (Hons) Software Engineering degree and I graduated in year 2014.
IIT is a well renowned campus which offers the best degree courses in Software Engineering. I did not just want to follow a degree which provides a certificate by attending lectures and completing assignments. I wanted to pursue a degree which provides up-to-date knowledge about technology in depth and provide practical experience as well. IIT has a strict curriculum but also manages to give students exposure in Software Engineering which includes many areas such as Professional Grooming, Business Analysis, Quality Assurance, Network and Security, Computational Intelligence, Real time embedded systems and Mobile App Development. All the above-mentioned cutting edge technologies and methodologies are being taught at IIT which makes IIT students well-groomed to face the IT industry upon completing the degree which makes it easier to climb up the corporate ladder.
What was your campus experience like at IIT? Were there any notable memories, achievements or experiences you gained at IIT?
IIT provided me a 360-degree exposure in many aspects to help me to become who I am today. IIT not only shapes an individual to be a software engineer with good technical skills but also gives experience in how to enhance soft skills. I have been fortunate to take part in many competitions such as Microsoft Imagine Cup, Cutting Edge and several hackathons. By being part of different software development competitions and hackathons, IIT taught to me how I can become a better leader, how to work as a team and how to build your personality. When considering extra-curricular activities, I would like to ponder the moments I have received many awards at Annual Sports Event in athletics, netball, carom and cyber games. I have also won many awards in different sports events held at other universities where I was able to bring value to IIT. As I was a committee member for the IIT Student Union, I was able to organize many events such as Stage Craft, Cutting Edge, Sports Events and Graduation Balls where team work, decision making, planning and leadership skills were improved.
How did your industrial placement (Internship) year, offered as part of the IIT degree programme help you excel in your career?
I started my professional career at Virtusa Pvt Ltd as an intern and it was an amazing experience. Virtusa is one of the largest IT companies in Sri Lanka and well renowned globally. At Virtusa I was privileged to work for the Global Technology Office, which is the innovation hub of Virtusa, where I was able to gain in depth knowledge in a wider range of cutting edge technologies and methodologies.I received hands on experience in Real time embedded systems, Mobile app development, Cognitive solutions and many more. Additionally, I was able to be a part of product development teams of Virtusa’s proprietary accelerator tools which provided me valuable insight into each stage of the software development cycle.
This experience helped me to complete my Final Year Project successfully using technologies such as image processing and cognitive methodologies. Also, the knowledge I gained from my final year dissertation and the experience I gained from my internship immensely helped me in my career at Virtusa.
Could you comment on the guidance and support you received from IIT lecturers?
IT lecturers provided me their fullest cooperation at all times which has helped me to complete my degree programme successfully. During my time at IIT, the academic staff offered me immense support and guidance. They not only helped me during lectures, assignments and exams but also when I needed their support when participating in external competitions and hackathons. IIT lecturers have played a vital part in my career as they continue to offer me advice on planning my post graduate programme and career growth.
Who are your role models and where do you find inspiration?
Steve Jobs & Elon Musk the most outstanding visionaries of our time. The immense dedication and passion to change the world through technology has inspired me. The revolution of technology to bring meaning into consumers’ lives has meant much to me than just what we know as digitalization.
What are your future plans?
I have a couple of goals which I want to achieve in the next few years. I have been privileged to go onsite and work for one of the world’s largest banks, which I want to successfully complete and grow in my career at Virtusa. Next, I want to follow a post graduate programme, Masters in Big Data and Data Science which I have already planned to complete at IIT. The biggest goal I want to achieve is to have my own startup in cognitive solutions, which I intend to achieve in the next couple of years.
Why would you recommend IIT for students who wish to become innovators and corporate leaders someday?
I would highly recommend IIT for students who are enthusiastic about new technologies and who possesses innovative ideas which can be groundbreaking. IIT provides a perfect foundation for your career as the course content is well up to date and challenging which will mold an individual to face the industry well. IIT not only provides good education also helps the students to enhance their soft skills like team work and leadership which will help the students immensely to outshine amongst the rest in the industry.
IIT conducts internal undergraduate degrees from the University of Westminster (UOW), UK and Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. The University of Westminster degrees offered at IIT are Software Engineering, Business Information System, Business Management and Computer Science with specialization pathways in gaming and computer graphics development, mobile and web computing and multimedia computing.
The one-year mandatory industrial placement offered at IIT is another unique factor which is part of the institute’s curriculum. Many multinational and local blue-chip companies have come forward to provide the necessary exposure for IIT students which have helped them to gain an insight into their respective industries and gain essential skills that are vital to a successful career, thus resulting in these students having a 100% job assurance following their graduation.
IIT is an award winning campus, which has bagged many accolades for innovation in local and international competitions such as Microsoft Imagine Cup, National Best Quality Software Awards (NBQSA), APICTA, British Council-HSBC Youth Enterprise Award and e-Swabhimani. With its strong international affiliations, outstanding resources and focus on quality higher education, IIT is without a doubt an ideal place for students to follow world renowned IT and Business degrees.
For further information, e-mail “firstname.lastname@example.org”, call the hotline 0722 72 72 72 or visit IIT Main Campus at No. 57, Ramakrishna Rd, Colombo 6 or click on their website.