Nishaa Senarath-Dassanayake


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  • Campus: University of Auckland, Auckland.

Nishaa Senarath Dassanayake

What are you studying?

Law and Commerce.

How do you want to make a difference in the world?

I hope to make a difference in this world by inspiring and empowering people to make the most out of the opportunities given to them. We have the power to shape and enrich the minds of others and to exercise our intelligence in positive ways that will benefit this world for years to come. If we can encourage our peers to grab opportunities by the hand, then it can hopefully create a flow on effect that no matter how small your involvement and actions may be, you will create a bigger impact than you thought possible. We have the ability to change the world, so why not try? That is the difference I want to make in the world.

How would your friends, family or a colleague describe you?

My sister would and has described me as an ambitious individual who always remembers to have fun, even during 'serious' knuckle-down moments. She mentions that she admires my courage, particularly in the ability to adapt really quickly in different situations and do things "impromptu" - even if I have never taken part in a similar activity/do not know what something is. Friends also agree with this point that I will always give things a go even if it puts me outside my comfort zone. For me, someone who initially did not like accounting and now to be a representative shows this point that I am open minded and if I do not do something well the first time round, I will pick myself up not give into "failure".

What was your fondest memory from university so far?

My fondest memory of uni so far would definitely have to be attending the University of Auckland Blues Awards. I was in awe of the talent that filled the room with students from all walks of life and disciplines. Being able to hear the stories of students that excelled in sports and the arts to those that have contributed immensely in service & leadership was unforgettable. It was incredibly inspiring to acknowledge the achievements of fellow students who were able to demonstrate that being a "student" is not just about studying but rather setting out to do other things as well. Also having my own achievements recognised wasn't that bad either.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about studying business/accounting?

Business and accounting are no longer confined to the narrow definition of what it used to be in the past. When you study and practice accounting, its not the typical image of an accountant who is in an office that uses a calculator and is surrounded only by numbers. Its considerably open now and you can use your degree in accounting and business to expand into consulting services as opposed to traditional book keeping. For students thinking about studying business/accounting I urge them to keep an open mind about these changes. Everything is connected nowadays and you might end up working somewhere you thought was not possible. Most importantly, do what feels right for you - do not feel pressured to do what other want or expect you to do.