KAVINDA DE SILVA: Connecting to Build a Stronger Network

Each semester, the Centennial Student Union recognized eight outstanding students who excel as leaders in the campus community or within the CSU student staff. The BEST Board, the 55-foot display in the CSU Hearth Lounge, is a way of Boasting Exceptional Student Talent. This eight-part series offers a glimpse of each of those student leaders for Fall 2020.

Kavinda De Silva of Kandy, Sri Lanka, graduates December 2020 with his degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is the Building Manager of Centennial Student Union Operations, involved in the ASHRAE club as the Event Coordinator, and involved in MavLankans. He wants to go back to Sri Lanka and work at an engineering firm and open his very own customized clothing line down the road.


Using your own experience, what advice for personal fulfillment and college enrichment would you offer to fellow students?

KAVINDA: “From my personal experience, I think the best way to enrich your college life is by building up a good network (building a stronger connection between students, faculty, and staff). The more people you know in college the easier it gets for you to aim for your goal because there is someone on the way that would help you out if have a good network. Building a good network takes time, but by getting involved in college events and organizations this process gets done much faster.

We often get asked, “How do I get on the BEST Board?” What do you think helped earn you your BEST Board distinction?

KAVINDA: “Currently, I’m an employee of CSU operations, and I believe working in that department helped me get my picture up on the best board. As an employee of CSU operations, I was able to climb myself up from an assistant position to a manager by showing leadership skills, taking responsibility, having affecting team dynamics and communication skills.

Why did you pick the quote used on the BEST Board? Please provide some background.

KAVINDA: “The reason I chose my quote was that anytime I start something new the experience is always frightful but along the way I get to love that new experience. And when it’s time to let that thing go it’s the saddest part of my life. So my motto is to enjoy every moment to the max and have no regrets when it’s over.

What involvement or leadership experience at Minnesota State Mankato best defines you, your interests, or your proudest moment? 

KAVINDA: “My leadership positions at Minnesota State University, Mankato includes being the Building Manager of CSU Operations, and I’m also involved in the ASHRAE club as the Event Coordinator. These roles helped me gain connections and valuable leadership experience. The proudest moments in my life would be how much I have grown during the years I’ve been in the USA.

Where do you hope to take your college education earned at Minnesota State Mankato (what are your career aspirations)?

KAVINDA: “I want to go back to Sri Lanka and work at an engineering firm and along the road, I want to open my very own customized clothing line.

What words of wisdom would you share in these unusual times?

KAVINDA: “Never be afraid, back out of something, and always go for it. Get more involved in college events and organizations, because after college ends you have to face the scary world. Go enjoy yourself at parties but at the same time have your priorities straight.


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