Staff Spotlight: Fenella Amarasinghe
Welcome to Staff Spotlight, where we give the members of #RyersonSA the opportunity to discuss everything from their own approach to the industry to their favourite literature. Swing by to get to know your colleagues a little bit better.
Position: Career Consultant, FEAS
Department: Career Centre
What’s the first thing you do when you come into the office?
I say hello to my colleagues. Sometimes I say hey, hi, what’s up or yo.
In your view what makes Ryerson unique?
I’ve heard yes more times in my few months working here than in my entire career. There is intentionality behind what individuals are doing. What is being done is directed towards a collective goal. There’s possibility and opportunity here.
What is something that you wish more people knew about your position?
I’m a Career Consultant for a large faculty, the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science (FEAS). My mission is to build a relevant and accessible Career Development Program for students in FEAS. To accomplish this, I meet and collaborate with faculty, staff, students, and employers, ask a lot of questions and listen very carefully. Their needs, wants, and concerns are the foundation of what I’m developing. I have to adopt, adapt, and plan ahead to ensure the programming is impactful. Or else, what’s the point?
What made you to decide to work in Student Affairs? If you hadn’t chosen SA, what would you be doing right now?
I’m passionate about teaching, having a positive impact on people, and being creative. Student Affairs allows me to do all of these things. If it wasn’t SA, I would be pursuing my Masters full time with a PhD next on the docket.
Where is your favourite place to be outside of work?
A bookstore. Preferably selling used books.
What’s your favourite book?
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, a humorous satire with one of the greatest protagonists/antagonists I’ve read.
What’s your top App?
MapMyRun helped me train. It’s great for tracking pace and distance.
Name the individual(s) who have made the greatest impact in your career?
My mom, my childhood friend and guru, Alpha and my high school World Issues teacher, mentor and friend, Jedda. They’ve all been my champions, advisors and sounding boards.
What’s something about you that people are always surprised to learn?
Some people think I’m reserved and introverted (which is half true). Those who have known me a long time will tell you a different story.
What’s your favourite spot on campus?
Balzac’s has great service and delicious coffee.
In what ways have you found Student Affairs to differ from your previous work experiences?
I feel there is opportunity for me to develop new areas of myself previously neglected. I’m encouraged to be daring.
What is something you are doing to increase the impact of Student Affairs at Ryerson?
I’m developing online Professional Development modules for my faculty so that career development is more accessible to students. I’m coupling this with small group coaching so students can apply their learning and receive feedback.
When I started working in Student Affairs I wish I had known:
Not to be so shy.
My colleagues are hilarious, kind, and inspiring. They never fail to provide advice or guidance. I mean, Tang came out to watch me run after a few weeks of knowing me. What a gal!
If you’d like to be featured in a Staff Spotlight, please contact Lucas Gobert at LGobert@Ryerson.ca.