Sri Lankan student had long journey to the Spring Research Fair

As one of two undergraduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this year from Sri Lanka, Kalana Jayanetti is a standout in and out of the classroom.

Although there are 15 publicly financed universities in Sri Lanka, Jayanetti decided the best option for him was to travel over 9,000 miles to further his education.

Few can claim a longer journey to get to the Spring Research Fair, where Jayanetti presented this month.

“My father was an alumnus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, so I always grew up hearing about the university,” Jayanetti said. “I ended up choosing the University of Nebraska-Lincoln because I received a better scholarship here.”

The junior actuarial science major was worried about fitting in on campus, understanding the material he learned in his classes and maintaining a high-grade point average because he did not grow up in the United States.

“My experience here at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been really good because the people are really nice and I love the campus atmosphere,” Jayanetti said.

Students within Jayanetti’s major have also had a great experience working with him and admire his work ethic and dedication to everything he does.

“Kalana has a great work ethic and you can always depend on him to get things done,” Brian Andersen, junior actuarial science major and classmate, said. “Not only does he work extremely hard, but he’s involved with a variety of activities and is participating in the spring research fair.”

The University of Nebraska Spring Research Fair showcases undergraduate and graduate students research projects and gives them an opportunity to speak to their peers and faculty members about their findings.

Jayanetti was one of about 450 undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to participate in the 2018 Spring Research Fair. His project focused on producer services – things sold mainly to businesses and governments to assist or improve processes.

Jayanetti got involved in the research fair by working at the Bureau of Business Research in the College of Business over the course of this academic year.

“The idea for the project came about from previous research and the rapid growth nature of the producer services industry itself,” Jayanetti said.

In order to complete the project, it required gathering and reading literature reviews to have a starting point in the research.

“Once I had an idea of what was needed to be done I started working with data,” Jayanetti said. “I believe working with data and controlling the data for different aspects was challenging and at the same time interesting.”

Jayanetti hopes his research findings help the business world in a positive way.

“From my project, I hope to find the driving forces of growth in the producer services industry which would be useful information for local economies and policymakers trying to capture the growth of the industry by implementing necessary policies,” Jaynetti said.

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