Manul Randula Singhe is a BSc. (Hons) Computer Science graduate from IIT who has achieved much success following graduation. Manul is the Founder of Knight Owl, a Sri Lankan game development company that focuses on developing indie games. He completed his internship at Motion Miracles Pvt Ltd as a Tech Lead/Project Manager in the third year of the degree. Following are excerpts of the interview with Manul.
1. Can you give a brief introduction to yourself?
I’m hail from a family of four with a business background in the hospitality industry. I have been to a few schools, starting from Vidura College, St. Thomas College Bandarawela and finally Alethea International School in Dehiwala where I completed my O/L’s before joining IIT for the Foundation program.
2. Let us know a bit of your school education.
During my school days, I was captivated by what Computer Science and ICT subjects offered us. In particular, I was curious about exploring how things operated and understanding the science behind it. Although I was good at the commerce stream, I was naturally attracted towards the science stream at the latter part of my school life where I studied physics, biology and mathematics along with the mandatory subjects. I was also a member of the science and computer society in school.
3. What made you decide to follow your higher education at IIT?
After my O/L’s I wanted to continue my studies to A/L’s and follow Computer Science but due to curtain constraints at the time my computer science teacher suggested that I go to IIT and go through the Foundation Programme and advance to computer science.
IIT has a well-known reputation of delivering high quality education and a future pathway to their students. IIT was the only institute that offered the pathway to study game development at the time. With game development being my passion and IIT’s good reputation, it was an easy choice to make.
4. How was your student life and experiences like at IIT?
IIT allows us to create amazing friendships from the very beginning, then the abundance of activities like the sports events and parties and gatherings, allows everyone to work together and have fun in the campus whereas the hackathons and other events like Cutting Edge allows you to show case your potential and have fun while doing it. They open up opportunities for you to get recognized by companies and industry experts. Student life at IIT was interesting and fun as it provided many opportunities to grow, and that is exactly what I got.
From the very first Cutting Edge I took part during my foundation year, I got the opportunity to explore and work with well-established people in multiple industries, which is something that would not have been possible without IIT.
5. What are your notable achievements at IIT?
My achievements are more academic oriented, starting from foundation I was able to complete the programme with a distinction. During the course of 5 years I took part in a few hackathons as well as Cutting Edge exhibitions, in which I received awards for the best creative designs.
6. Has IIT shaped you for corporate success? If so, how?
IIT has very much helped shape me for corporate success. The most notable and the biggest contributor to this would be the internship opportunity they provide. With my urge to be a game developer, without much options in the country, I was still able to find an internship at a game studio which gave me knowledge into how the game industry works and operates.
The internship experience combined with helpful and resourceful staff at IIT who provided the academic know how, allowed me to confidently work my way into becoming a game developer.
7. Can you describe the support you received from the staff and the faculty of IIT?
The staff at IIT is very friendly, they are always willing to help, very resourceful and provide helpful advice and information and even direct and introduce you to people from the industry that can help you.
For instance during my final year, I had problems moving forward with my final year project. After discussing with my mentor I approached another lecturer who was very experienced in my field of research. Regardless of his busy schedule, he was willing to assist me complete my project.
8. What are your fondest moments at IIT?
I recall the time I worked with a few other friends to develop a 3D virtual tour of IIT and how many sleepless nights were spent for it. But the appreciative feedback we received for it made it all very much worth the effort which further motivated us all.
9. What are your reasons to recommend IIT to students?
I will definitely recommend IIT to anyone who wants to have a successful career. IIT is one of the best places where you can pursue your passion, this is mainly due to the standards of the education provided with an unparalleled experience. Also, the abundance of opportunities to showcase your potential through various events will certainly help anyone grow, while the yearlong internship opportunity which allows the student to gain industry experience during studies is invaluable to anyone who’s looking to have a successful career.