Monash Professional Year to an Award-winning Project Manager

Ashan Senevirathne completed his Bachelor of Business Information Systems from Monash University in 2018. Fast forward to May 2021 and he is working as a Project Manager with one of the biggest App developers, Elegant Media, in Australia, managing a team of more than twenty people and winning awards for his work. In this article, we speak to Ashan and find out how he managed to grow so much in his career in such a short time.

Joining the Monash Professional Year

After graduating Ashan started looking for full-time work but, while he did find a part-time job in a software company, he struggled to find a full-time position that could kick start his career. This is when Ashan decided to join a professional year program at Monash Professional Year.

“I had heard very good things about the professional year program that Monash runs and that’s why I decided to do it. I chose Monash in particular because my experience at the university had been great. It was an added bonus that the professional year program also helps in gaining extra points in the skills visa process.”

The first nine months of the Monash Professional Year program was coursework which was divided into three different modules.

“They have designed the modules perfectly. By the last module the teachers are helping you in getting your resume ready and cover letter ready, and getting you ready for interviews.”

Getting job-ready

Ashan says that the Monash Professional Year Program really focuses on getting students job-ready. The PY team conducts heaps of mock interviews, get your resume and cover letter ready and set up interviews with companies that will be the best fit for you.

“When you are looking for an internship, the Monash  Professional Year Placement Team  does your interview first to determine what companies will best suit you.”

And once you secure an interview the PY team  ensures you are as ready as you can be for that interview.

“The professional year program really helped with preparing for the interview. Even a simple tip like ‘ask the employer questions’ made a huge difference in the end. While preparing the resume and cover letter, I had no idea I had so many transferable skills from my previous part-time and casual jobs. But the Professional Year team helped me in highlighting those skills in my resume. For example my experience of working at the restaurant, the Professional Year team asked me what I did there and told me that I have experience in paying attention to detail, and they were right. Monash Professional Year helped me with many such things that I would have never considered myself.”

The best part about the Monash Professional Year, Ashan says, was how good the teachers and the Placement Team were and their process for finding you an internship tailored to your goals.

By the end of the nine months, I had a few interviews lined up. The first one I undertook  was at Elegant Media. And by the next day, I had been offered a position at Elegant Media.”

Going from an Intern to leading a team of 20 people

“The internship was amazing. During the internship, I actually got to apply everything I had learnt during my graduation and Professional Year. I ended up taking on tasks that full-time project managers were doing, and a lot of it was due to the skills I had developed during the Professional Year Program. I even did client meetings, which was so much easier since I had learnt a lot of skills on how to present, how to speak  professionally, and how to act in a meeting during the Professional Year Program.

In March 2020, by the end of his internship, Ashan was offered a full-time position at Elegant Media.

“I have been working here for more than a year now and I have had an amazing journey. I have gone from being an intern to managing a team of more than twenty people. I have learnt so much through interacting with different stakeholders every single day. How to get work done, how to communicate with clients. All clients are different and I have to adapt my communication approach accordingly.”

Favourite projects and biggest achievements

An exciting project I am currently working on is a health-based recipe App that suggests the best recipes for people suffering from chronic diseases. These are scientifically-backed recipes and since I am a huge fan of science, I am loving the process of developing this App.

One of the initiatives I am most proud of is the Jumpstart process that I designed recently. Through Jumpstart we have streamlined our App development process cutting down App development timeframes and automating a lot of tasks. In some cases, we can reduce App development timeframes by up to 70%.

Ashan is now also getting recognised by the industry for his exceptional work. His company has recently received the prestigious Golden Stevie award for innovation in technology management for the jumpstart process that he developed.

Would you recommend the Monash Professional Year?

“I always suggest every student I meet to do that extra year, it is priceless. All the things I learnt during my Professional Year, I would have never made the effort to learn them by myself. Even something as simple as how to professionally answer a phone call, how to conduct a meeting or how to write an email, these are the things that helped me secure a job and have made a massive difference in my career growth. Through this program, you will be made ready for your next big step!”

Ashan specifically wanted to thank his mentors during the Professional Year Program- Shireen Noble and Tharaka Tennekoon. And also wanted to give a big shout out to the Placement Team for finding him the perfect internship.

After having grown so much in the last couple of years Ashan Senevirathne is all set to take on the future.

“In the long run, I intend to launch my own startup. A technology-based startup, perhaps to do with AI or robotics, I am not sure yet, but that is definitely what I want to do with all the experience I am gaining right now.”