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NC Alumni – Braving the World of Psychology

Keshani Perera, an ex-national athlete, graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science (BSc) in Psychology with a Cum Laude Grade from Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T), offered at ANC Education. After completing her AS level, Keshani joined ANC where she received a scholarship of 25% of the tuition fee for her immense talents and academic strength. At ANC, she won the High Achiever’s Award in 2013 and in 2016. Considering her exceptional achievements, she was given the Limelight Recognition at ANC’s convocation in 2016. She has now been accepted to William Paterson University of New Jersey, USA to read for her Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree.
From a very young age, Keshani showcased immense talent in athletics. During her school days at Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya, she took part in Asian Youth Games held in 2009 in Singapore – which allowed her to claim the Most Promising Athlete of the Year Award at the School Colors Night. Owing to her achievements as a young athlete, she was given a full scholarship by Gateway College, where she continued her studies and athletic career. At Gateway, she received the Dove Award which is the highest level of honors given to students who represent the country and the school at the national level. After completing her studies at Gateway, she joined the Athletic Squad of the Sri Lankan Army, representing the country at various international events.On account of her athletic records, Keshani received national colors from 2008 for five years, consecutively.
Below are the excerpts from the interview with Keshani:
How did you gain entry into PsyD in Clinical Psychology?
My BSc in psychology as well as social work and internships I did while I was at ANC were very useful. For doctoral studies, they screen 400 to 500 applications. Last year, I got selected to an MSc program at Colombia University which is an Ivy League university. However, I did not receive enough funding for that. ButWillian Patterson University offered me direct entry to the doctorate – andoffered Graduate Assistantship at the university. Apart from my grades, they also considered my work experience in the field. During my studies, I volunteered at the Son Rise Program where I had the privilege to care for an autistic child. I also worked at Emerge Lanka as an intern, dealing with issues related tovictims of sexual abuse. While doing my internships and volunteering, I continued to work as a Special Needs Teacher at ABC School of Early Learning. All of it added to strengthen my application.
What made you choose a
Psychology degree at ANC?
I was introduced to psychology at Gateway during my AS level – which I found very interesting. It is exciting to learn about human behaviors and how the mind works. Since I had a clear view of what I wanted to be doing, instead of continuing my A/Levels, I joined ANC which offered a psychology degree from a top US university.
Why didn’t you go to the US for your undergraduate studies?
The ANC US Psychology degree was lesser than half the price of going abroad for studies. At that time, I was not mature enough. My parents were also hesitant to send me abroad at a young age like that. Besides, I didn’t see a point in going abroad when I could have the same degree in Sri Lanka. I understand that studying in the US may give you more exposure and experience. But it made more sense for me to enroll at ANC – and later, go abroad for my postgraduate studies.
How do you describe the standards of ANC’s Psychology faculty?
ANC’s faculty is exceptional. We had local as well as foreign lecturers. They were all well experienced, knowledgeable and highly qualified. It was a rewarding experience to work with a panel of lecturers who could give us proper guidance and supervision. They taught us with such passion, reminding us as to how we could give back to society.
What standsout in ANC’s
psychology curriculum?
The curriculum was very relevant and challenging. It included a minimum three-month compulsory internship – based on which we were graded. Throughout the degree, we were supervised and were introduced to places where we could find internships. This gave us opportunity to explore areas of our interest. The curriculum included a lot of research and hands-on experience.
What is your overall experience
at ANC?
It was great. Apart from studies, I had time to take the role as the Sports Captain at ANC in 2013/14 and as the President of the Performing Arts Club in 2015/16. ANC created an arena for students to showcase their talents and interact with peers as well as the professional community.
What are the opportunities in the field of Psychology in Sri Lanka?
We have a big void of qualified psychology professionals. There’s an increasing demand for those who are qualified in psychology to fill that void. For my doctorate, I study clinical psychology with a focus on children and adolescents. There’s a huge lack of professionals in pediatric psychology. My plan is to be qualified and come back to Sri Lanka to start a center dedicated to deal with such issues related to mental health. There are many opportunities out there.
For more information on ANC Education degree programs, please contact:
0777449955|www.ancedu.com| No.308 – 310, R. A. De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 03.

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