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Poornima Meegammana

Career Path: Director of Youth Development, Shilpa Sayura Foundation & Lecturer Animation & Game Design, AOD Colombo
Location: Sri Lanka

I'm a multifaceted professional whose career spans several dynamic roles: filmmaker, educator, and social entrepreneur. My passion lies in harnessing the power of creativity and technology to spark positive change in society. I founded the award-winning Nextgen Girls in Technology initiative, which increases women's participation in emerging tech careers to bridge the gender disparity in technology. We have reached over 7,000 beneficiaries across Sri Lanka in just five years.

My dedication over the past decade to leveraging creativity and technology for educational development has earned me accolades, including the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2022 (social impact), the UNESCO Prize for Girls and Women's Education in 2020, ITU WSIS Prizes in 2020, and WIM Social Entrepreneur of the Year Sri Lanka in 2022.

In my role as an educator, I teach 3D Animation & Game Design at the Academy of Design in Colombo. Additionally, in my capacity as an Unreal Authorised Instructor Partner for Epic Games, I provide specialised training in Unreal Engine to professionals. This dual role allows me to make a substantial impact on the professional growth and development of individuals within the creative industry. In the realm of film making and creativity, I have produced several empathy-driven short films addressing social issues such as child soldiers, cyber harassment, gender equality, and environmental concerns. My creative work has had real-world impacts and has been honoured with accolades, including the Adobe Aspire Awards and the Adobe Creativity Scholarship.

What are you doing now?Poornima Meegammana

I'm currently the Director of Youth Development at the Shilpa Sayura Foundation, leading the Nextgen Girls in Technology programme. I am also a Lecturer in Animation & Game Design at the Academy of Design Colombo

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

What drew me to Northumbria University was the BA (Hons) Motion Graphics & Animation degree, offered through a collaboration with the Academy of Design in Colombo. The course offered a broad spectrum of topics, including animation, game design and film, which aligned perfectly with my passion. The curriculum's emphasis on both theoretical knowledge and practical application made it an ideal choice for me.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

Studying this degree was a unique experience. We had a mix of lectures, projects, and industry engagement. The faculty was exceptional, offering inspiration and support that pushed me to refine my skills and expand my creative boundaries. Feedback from tutors was always constructive, and they created a collaborative learning environment that encouraged exploration and growth. This dynamic blend of instruction, mentorship, and peer interaction made my academic journey both challenging and rewarding.

How connected was your course with industry?

The course maintained a strong connection with the industry, with guest lectures from seasoned professionals worldwide, study tours, and internships. This direct exposure to industry trends and practices not only enriched my learning experience but also allowed me to network and establish valuable connections within the industry.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

During my studies, I had the opportunity to intern at a creative studio, which was a pivotal experience. This placement immersed me in the industry, allowing me to apply my academic knowledge to real-world projects and gain first-hand insight into the professional environment. It significantly enhanced my understanding of the field.

What was the best thing about your course?

The highlight of my course was undoubtedly the faculty. Their dedication not only inspired me academically but also personally, with some becoming mentors who continue to guide me in my career. Their expertise and encouragement were fundamental in shaping my approach to design and animation, deepening my appreciation for the craft.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

The degree offered a unique blend of creative and analytical skill development, emphasising research and practical application. The structure of each module mirrored the real-world dynamics of the industry, preparing us comprehensively for professional challenges. The course not only equipped me with a solid foundation in motion graphics and animation but also instilled a keen understanding of industry standards and practices.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Inspiring, challenging and fun

For more information about me visit:

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