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Graduate Student Stories Transcripts: Rishvi Jayathilake

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Transcript to Rishvi Jayathilake's video

I had this like book with me. And one page was like the crime rates (laugh). One page was the weather. And one page was the cost of living. So, I didn't want to go to a place with an extreme winter. I also wanted to still see winter, because I had never seen snow before. So, I thought like this area would be like the kind of the best balance, of because I was looking at the the ranks for the universities as well in chemistry.

University of Maryland stood out to me the most, because there's a Sri Lankan professor, he used to work for, this university. His name is Sunil [Purnumpiremer 00:00:36], so I've heard of him before, and because of that this university stood out to me, a lot. And also out of the universities that I was looking at, this had the best rank. The best part is living, in a different country, getting to meet people from different countries. And apart from that, I think living on my own for the first time, back when even in college I, went from home, so now I have learned to like balance so many things apart from my research work, or doing my own finances, paying my own rent. My friends were the most useful factor, getting adjusted here.

On the social share of ADSE, so ADSE stands for Allowance for Diversity in Science and Engineering, we try to incorporate diversity into our departments included in STEM. But I was really surprised, how meticulous, how much attention they paid to like the smallest things here, and how they try to, like mitigate issues and you know, try to help the minorities here.

My research project is on metal oxar systems, and I'm trying to uh, convert them to oxygen storage materials. I've always been, kind of, interested when there's a real-life application. The research work that I'm working with, is towards chemical lupine reactions, so in industries there's this fancy way of, oxidizing a field so to speak. I get to travel to national labs in the U.S. So, that itself was a great opportunity for me, being an international student.

I really want to get into industries. so even during conferences, I've been like talking to people who are from industries. For us it's a little bit of a challenge. Not many companies are willing to sponsor your visa, so that's the major drawback for us. But, I'm going to try my best. Eventually I would want to start up my own thing back home. I have sort of like a rough plan for that right now. So that would be the ultimate goal for me, to do my own thing back home. Do a start-up.