January 8, 2020

Shinie standing in front of a board with academic partners of Cardiff Met

My name is Vibhushinie Bentotahewa and I am a Research Student at Cardiff Metropolitan University, nearly completing the first year of my PhD.

My journey to this point can be best described going back to my undergraduate years at the University of Colombo (Sri Lanka). In 2017, I graduated from there with a BA (Hons) degree in International Relations with a 2:1. It was my primary objective to give me the best chance in life, and a challenging period in my academic world.

The next stage was amazing and exciting for me. Soon after completing my BA, I had the chance of a lifetime to continue my studies in the United Kingdom, an opportunity that I never thought would come my way. The realisation that my journey did not end in Sri Lanka was emotional. In 2018 I completed my MA course in Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy at the University of Buckingham, graduating with Merit.

I then decided to continue my academic career with a PhD. Here I am now at Cardiff Met doing a four year research study with two amazing academics, Dr Chaminda Hewage and Dr Jason Williams, who gave me the opportunity to be here. Cardiff Met was perfect for me, giving me the opportunity to combine theoretical and practical aspects into my research.

Shinie sitting with a pile of books, reading a book
In my research I focus on emerging trends in cyber threats.

The university itself is very diverse in global and cultural values, and offers a wide range of interesting academic subjects. Within a short time of being here, it dawned on me just how extensive the university is, and the key services it offers to make students feel welcome and comfortable, supported by the staff having an understanding of students’ needs.

In my research I focus on emerging trends in cyber threats, and Cardiff Met has all the resources available for me to do just that. I have the opportunity to work with people who already have knowledge of network development. Learning from them and sharing expertise have added value to my studies and helped widen my focus on the bigger picture in cyber-related research. In addition, I have had the chance to attend conferences and seminars and present my work. This introduction to wider learning and networking with other academics, peers and delegates from industry has enabled me to establish valuable links.

As part of Cardiff Met’s School of Technologies, I have been provided with opportunities to take up the CISCO courses that will complement my research work. I have also been selected to join the Brilliant Club as a PhD tutor – an opportunity that I believe will contribute to my personal and career development.

Shinie standing with a book in front of computers
I have put hours of hard work to come this far, and couldn’t be happier with my choice.

I feel without a doubt that I am in the right place with the right people. My supervisors are approachable and supportive, and their feedback has been most useful. With their guidance and direction, I have had the opportunity to publish a number of articles, and one country specific for Sri Lanka, which was recently published in a leading Sri Lankan newspaper.

I am really grateful to Cardiff Metropolitan University for the amazing support I have from my supervisors and the staff. My research study is continuing unabated, driven by motivation and my desire to be educated to the highest level possible. I have put in hours of hard work to come this far, and remain determined to continue to do so until I reach my end goal. If you are thinking of doing your research in cyber security and developing your technical knowledge, studying at Cardiff Metropolitan University will make it happen for you too.