5 Minutes With... ACS SA Student Member Dinuk Nayankara
13th July 2020
- Dinuk is a Master of Information Technology Student at the University of South Australia and has previous experience across several domains like administration, finance, marketing, sales, and operations.
- For people thinking of pursuing an ICT career, he recommends expanding skills in Cybersecurity and Data Science as these fields have immense potential.
- He believes that networking in key, especially in areas where the ICT industry is smaller and recommends attending ACS networking functions to meet new people and expand your horizons.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
I began my career as an analyst at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Sri Lanka gathering experience in research and stakeholder engagement. I gained experience in several areas while working as a district manager for a major retail company in Sri Lanka. However, my career experience consisted of working with teams, administration, finance, marketing, sales, and operations; which I believe provides me broader knowledge and capability to understand business operations and requirements better.
Hence, was the major reason for me to pursue the Master of Information Technology in Enterprise Management which would align my existing skills with newly developed skills to become a successful professional in the ICT industry, and ultimately become an entrepreneur.
Apart from studies, I was working as a UBuddy at the Campus Central of the University of South Australia assisting students with their enquiries and administrative tasks prior COVID-19. I also enjoy volunteering, and exploring South Australia as it is indeed surrounded by beautiful beaches, peninsulas and valleys.
2. What do you enjoy most about studying for a Master of Information Technology (Enterprise Management) at UniSA?
It is a novel experience for me, mainly because I have a background in business management, finance, sales, and marketing. However, the future potential of any industry lies with technology. Studying technology has a never-ending learning curve which is being extended with regular innovations and developments.
I’m learning most of the courses from the scratch and it has been very interesting mainly due to the well outlined course structure enabling students to enhance their hands-on knowledge and to explore areas such as project management, data mining, business process modelling, system analysis, and cyber security.
3. What is the key piece of advice you would give someone interested in making the move to study an ICT related Degree of the Industry?
As I’ve mentioned earlier, many day-to-day operations will most certainly be replaced with ICT developments sooner than expected. Hence, wouldn’t it be better to be proficient in ICT regardless of your major field of study or profession?
I’m advocating this from my own experience because I initially studied management accountancy followed by business management and marketing. However, regardless of the industry you’d work in, you will surely have to use project management, ERP systems, and many more ICT applications to execute your daily tasks in an efficient and effective way.
Via my ACS Student Membership, I have attended a number of ACS forums and networking events where I was able to associate with a few leaders in the ICT industry. Through this I was able to identify two areas with an enormous potential: Cybersecurity and Data Science. Therefore, I believe those are two key areas you’d be looking to expand your skills in, especially if you are interested in making a move to the ICT industry.
4. Tech changes fast. How do you keep your skills up-to-date?
ACS newsletters and industry based whitepapers are good sources to be aware of the incidents and developments happening in the ICT industry. LinkedIn is another useful platform to read about the ICT industry and to learn from short courses by utilising the LinkedIn Learning platform.
The ACS Learning Accelerator is another great platform for members to keep their skills up-to-date. It provides many courses along with the opportunity to complete several certifications. As a student aspiring to become a successful Business Analyst (BA), I took a course in Business Analysis Analytical Techniques which was very useful for me to refresh my knowledge and to learn more about this important field.
5. Who is your tech mentor or a leader that inspires you and why?
There are many great technologists leaving their footprints in this rapidly evolving world. We can surely learn many things from people who are trying to make a positive impact.
Christopher Radbone was an interesting person I met at one of the ACS events. He is the current Chair of the ACS South Australian Branch. He had started his career as a Management Consultant and eventually shifted to the tech industry becoming a cyber security professional. His undying enthusiasm for the field of tech, especially data science and cyber security inspired me to explore more on those two areas. If we take global tech leaders such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates, they share two common yet important traits, persistency and consistency. I believe that I also need to incorporate those two traits to continuously improve myself and become successful.
6. How has ACS membership supported your career journey in tech?
Pursuing a Master of IT was the beginning of my journey in tech and it only becomes more interesting. I aspire to begin my career journey as an ICT BA or a Project Manager upon the completion of my postgraduate studies. ACS membership has given me the access to a valuable digital library and provides the opportunity to network with professionals of the tech industry through their events. Becoming a member of ACS has been a great decision in my life.
Making new connections and networking is a key in Adelaide because the circle of ICT professionals is comparatively smaller. My ACS Membership has helped me to expand my horizons and has provided me with many new opportunities. I believe there’s more to explore, especially to utilise the learning platform to continuously improve my skills and be up-to-date with the tech industry to become a skillful ICT professional.
"5 Minutes With..." is a series of articles showcasing exceptional ACS Members and their amazing, innovative, and game changing stories. Representing over 48,000 tech professionals across Australia, our Members work across industry, government, research, and education organisations and each edition highlights the role they are playing in making Australia a world leader in technology talent, fostering innovation, and creating new forms of value.