Nilangi Kulasinghe '12
Hometown: Sri Lanka
Major: Technology Management and Business
Q: How did you find Clarkson?
A: It was actually kind of a mistake. One of my best friends was applying and told me that I should too. I ended up choosing Clarkson even though my friend didn't come. At the time, I thought Clarkson was in New York City, but I was pleasantly surprised when I came to campus.
Q: Why did you choose Clarkson?
A: I liked the business programs at Clarkson; they're definitely up and coming. I also knew the job placement statistics here are really outstanding, so that helps too, especially in this economy!
Q: What is it like to be an international student at Clarkson?
A: When I first came, it was a little challenging because I'm from a big city, but I quickly found that the community, especially the international community, is really great here, so I continue to have no problems. What's nice is that I would never want to think of myself as just "international" because that's not just what I am, and everyone here knows that. We're all here for the same reasons, coming here with clean slates, not knowing anyone. We all want to succeed inside and outside the classroom.
Q: What is something you wish people would have told you before coming to college in the U.S.?
A: How cold it is here! (laughs) Actually, I've come to appreciate the weather, you get four distinct seasons.
Q: What kinds of opportunities have been available to you while you've been at Clarkson?
A: Wow, there's so many! Definitely traveling. I've been to Italy already and I'm going to Hong Kong next semester. Another is networking. I feel like I'm friends with the recruiters from some big companies now, which is strange and amazing. Also meeting new people. I've met so many amazing students and professors while I've been here, like my professor Marc Compeau. He writes for Forbes magazine! How cool is that!
Q: Do you ever feel "different" at Clarkson?
A: Definitely not in a negative way. I haven't had anyone act weird around me. Mostly people are just excited and interested in my culture and want to know more about me. I was worried about racism before I came but in the three years I've been here, I've never once had a problem. In fact, some of my best friends are American.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Clarkson?
A: I like that it's small, so everyone knows everyone, including the faculty and staff. Your professors know you by name and your advisors know even more about you. You're definitely not just a face in the crowd.
Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: I'm hoping to work for about 2 years and then get my MBA. I'm also thinking of going back to Sri Lanka to work at some point in the future.
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