Budding entrepreneur. Broad thinker.
Neranga Jayaweera
Get to know Neranga Jayaweera,
Business Management .

You’re far from home, why did you come to UC?

The landscape and the cricket! But most importantly, UC’s Bachelor of Commerce was very appealing. I'd like to be a business entrepreneur so it’s the perfect degree for me.

How is UC helping you get industry experience?

I can network with our guest lecturers, and last summer I studied business in China for a month. But the most important aspect has been the business clubs at UC. This year I’m Chief Operating Officer of entré.

Congratulations! Tell us about entré.

It’s a student run company that promotes entrepreneurial activity. Our main competition is the $85K challenge. Last year we had 70 applicants that we cut down to 10 winners. The competition is a way for students to promote their business ideas. If you have a good idea, you just apply. You could win prize money and go on to start your own company!

Sounds like a great head start!

It is. The good thing about entré is that it's a real company with a Board of Directors. So it's both social and professional. Through entré I’ve met people in banks, law firms and engineering companies. It's given me so many contacts that I can confidently reach out to when I graduate.

"When I first arrived I stuck to Sri Lankan circles. But as time’s gone on I’ve made friends from Australia, Colombia, India, the Middle East, the US & UK."

You’ve also been a Diversity Intern – what’s that?

I spent a semester doing a stock take of all the diversity activities at UC. Things as big as Diversity Week, or as small as a lecturer checking whether people at the back of the class can hear. It was a long list! Doing that helped me see the world in a more inclusive way.

What’s been your personal experience of diversity here?

When I first arrived I stuck to Sri Lankan circles. But as time’s gone on I’ve made friends from Australia, Colombia, India, the Middle East, the US & UK. But in fact diversity is broader than that. It’s about appreciating people with different abilities, interests, hobbies, genders, sexual orientation.

How will that perspective help you as an entrepreneur?

It has made me think out of the box and be more open minded. As an entrepreneur I would see diversity as a point of innovation rather than a point of discrimination.

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