Avin Jayawickrema, a new master’s student in consumer, apparel, and retail studies (CARS), is on his way to fulfilling his dream becoming an executive at a top fashion organization. He is the recipient of this year’s VF Corporation Student Fellowship, and is beginning a graduate assistantship for the CARS department. He is also lifetime member of both the international business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma and the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa.
Before finishing his bachelor’s degree in business administration in international business and management at Winthrop University, Avin discovered the Bryan School through Beta Gamma Sigma.
“The credibility, validity, and reputation was amplified here; I sought to be part of this dynamic and successful program.”
“At UNCG we have the opportunity to shine. There are so many rarities unique to the Bryan School that makes it, quite honestly, a jewel. Faculty members are solid, with well-recognized credibility – and equally as grounded. The genuine humility, and concern for each student’s success goes beyond the classroom. The faculty goes above and beyond to make sure graduates are set to embark on a career of their chosen path.”
Born and raised in Sri Lanka, Avin grew up exposed to more of a modern, yet traditional atmosphere with hues of influence from Britain that helped form and shape him. Avin strives to master skills, knowledge, and experience to differentiate himself and succeed in this competitive industry. “My parents fostered the attitude that if you fall, get back up and try again. And if you fall again, keep getting up – echoing the saying that ‘failures are the pillars of success’.”
In undergraduate school Avin conducted research with faculty members from two different universities, then presented it at the Southern Management Association where his work, “Reversing the Lens in Leadership Research: Investigating Follower Role Orientation and Leader Outcomes”, was named Best Overall Track Paper and Best Overall Conference Paper. Through this experience, he recognized his ability to hone in on a topic that will be relevant, meaningful, and has longevity to companies and to academia. He wants to contribute something novel during his master’s program, and throughout his career.