It was an eventful day on 29 September 2010 as the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) visited St. Thomas’ College (STC) Matara to create awareness among school students about ‘Marketing as a Profession’.
A total of 800 A/L students from 21 schools together with their teachers were present at STC for this unique event. Sanath Gamage, Keerthi Kanaharaarachchi, Shamal Fernando, and Saliya Weerasekara – Past President of SLIM – were the honoured speakers at this event. Their speeches focused on ‘Motivation,’ ‘How to Overcome Challenges in Life’, ‘How to Select a Profession,’ and ‘Marketing as a Profession’. These privileged speakers are high calibre marketing professionals.
It also needs to be mentioned that this memorable occasion was the fourth after three successful occasions in 2009, which were held at Ananda College Colombo, St. Anthony’s College Kandy, and Siridhamma College Galle.
The Southern Provincial Education Department under the guidance of Provincial Director supported this project immensely. Asst. Manager Counseling and Career Guidance Unit, Jayasekara; Deputy Director Development, Southern Department of Southern Province, Ariyadasa; and 20 Career guidance teachers graced the occasion. Rohan Somawansa – President SLIM; Saliya Weerasekera – Immediate Past President; Siddeeque Akbar – Treasurer SLIM; and the ‘Marketing Roks Committee’ too participated at this event.
The vice principal and a few teachers of St.Thomas’ College Matara were also present. Rohan Somawansa delivered the key note address. He expressed his concern in furthering the education of the student community in Matara. Somawansa is a professional marketer who has also obtained his primary and secondary education in Matara.
The objective of this programme was to uplift marketing as a profession among school students. “The image for marketing as a profession is not at the desired levels among the students as well as the teachers. These segments are not aware of the scope, the recognition at corporate level, benefits and other perks that a marketer enjoys, and the opportunities available in terms of employment and growth,” Executive Committee Member SLIM and Project Chairman, Charitha Jayasingha said.
“We also identified that the school curriculum has very limited marketing content, which adds to the lack of interest/knowledge about the profession. Therefore, SLIM as a national body for marketers is responsible to uplift the marketing profession; hence school children/teachers become an important segment,” he added.
Vice President of SLIM Tilan Wijeyesekera said: “As the national body of marketing, SLIM is focused on developing the marketing fraternity, and one facet of that is to bring forth potential marketers to a point of considering marketing as their preferred choice of career. Therefore, we believe that projects such as ‘Marketing Roks’ would be a catalyst in progressing potential and budding marketers who are leaving the traditional schooling systems to embark upon a career path in marketing and educate themselves on the stream through a number of products we have on offer.”
“We believe that ‘Marketing Roks’ would be a very exciting proposition which would certainly be thought provoking for the youth segment who would no doubt find it extremely exciting through the ideal combination of education and entertainment by creating an edutainment experience.” Closing the event was a piece of entertainment provided by the ‘Centigradz’ which added much excitement to the students. The students relaxed and enjoyed the last half-hour of this event.
Since its establishment in the year 1970, SLIM has developed a reputation for promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing in Sri Lanka. The ‘Preliminary Course in Marketing’ offered by SLIM is specially designed for students age 16+. This course provides the students with a solid foundation in marketing. SLIM recently opened up a branch in Matara to give an opportunity to the students in Matara who are interested in pursuing a career in marketing.