Scholar X is a 6-month free premium mentoring program specifically designed for the Sri Lankan university student community. I was one of the few lucky students who got the opportunity to become a mentee of this program.
My mentor for this session is Dr Charith Peris, who is currently employed as a research scientist at Amazon Alexa. He graduated from the University of Colombo and completed his PhD at Northeastern University, USA while holding a pre-doctoral fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Joining the Scholar X program had been one of the targets in my university life, therefore I was very much looking forward to the beginning of our sessions. Our first session began by setting a few ground rules like how we should address one another, and things I like to discuss throughout this program. After that, we introduced ourselves to each other and discussed each other’s fields of interest. Next, we had an interesting conversation about his higher education experience in the USA and work experience at Amazon and how it differs from Sri Lankan culture. In the following session, we mainly focused our discussion on the topic of “Industry vs Higher Education”. Dr Charith shared some interesting facts about the importance of culture, and finding the right country for my higher education and the importance of proximity to big companies, which can help to grow my network easily. Also we had a brief discussion about one of my ongoing projects and Dr Charith gave a few tips to improve it as well.
The knowledge I got from our discussion in the first two meetings helped me realize certain things that I haven’t thought of earlier. Before I finish I would like to thank the Sustainable Education Foundation for giving me an opportunity like this to gain these invaluable experiences.