Capacity Development Programme for university students

Wednesday, 16 March 2011 00:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Beginning a new year of exciting and innovative events, the Postgraduate Institute of Management Alumni (PIMA) organised a Capacity Development Programme for university students under the theme “Winning in Tomorrow’s Talent Market”.

The primary objective of this programme was to equip and guide students on how to face and win in the future talent market.

This one day symposium was held on 26 February at the PIM auditorium and was attended by approximately 200 students of Management faculties representing nine universities; Eastern, Sabaragamuwa, Wayamba, Uva Wellassa, Sri Jayewardenepura, Ruhuna, Rajarata, Kelaniya and Colombo.

Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development graced the programme as the Chief Guest while Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary the President was the Guest of Honour and Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne, Secretary Ministry of Higher Education was a special invitee.

The proceedings began with the lighting of the oil lamp, followed by a welcome address by Vindhya Weeratunga, Co-Chair Capacity Development, PIMA. Professor Uditha Liyanage, Director PIM delivered the key note address, highlighting the workings of PIMA and the high standards of discipline that is fostered within the institution. He was of the opinion that this programme would help the future leaders of the country to inculcate ideas and see things differently. “If you don’t see it right, you don’t do it right, and if you don’t do it right, you don’t get it right, he stated, adding that innovation is the key to success.

His address was followed by Weeratunga’s, who compared his own experiences as a graduate to the experience of the current generation. “No one taught us how to get or function at a job”, he said, referring to the amount of resources that are available for those sifting through the job market.

Weeratunga stated the importance of being able to say something clearly and precisely and the magnitude of thinking before taking action. He added that this programme was important in helping an individual deal with the demands of a future job. Referring to his own time as a University student, he highlighted the vital act of learning your craft well, since every subject is imperative in teaching life and job skills.

Weeratunga also cited the works of Stephen Covey, expounding on the first and seventh habits of an effective person. He stated that one should be proactive and most importantly they should sharpen their saw or skills in order to succeed in the future. “The life ahead is interesting and challenging”, Weeratunga said, “We need to prepare for the days ahead and help take Sri Lanka to the next level”.  

Dr. Navaratne spoke of the importance of adapting to a new environment. He stated that in this day and age, people are expected to know more and keep up with new technology that is available, from using laptops to being able to carry out an effective presentation. “You need a marketable product that is up to date”, he said, adding that when the market demands CDs we should not be producing vinyl records. Speaking on the importance of general knowledge, Dr. Navaratne stated the significance of being a “loaded CD and not a blank one”, when facing employment prospects.

The symposium included sessions conducted by industry leaders with extensive experience in both the public and private sector.

Leading yourself, people and others –Deepal Sooriyaarachchi, Executive Director of AVIVA NDB Insurance

Professional communication –Dusty Alahakoon, Chief Operating Officer of Asia Pacific Brewery (Lanka) Limited

Top 10 things you need to know to get a job –Madu Ratnayake, Vice President and General Manager of Virtusa Corporation

Knowing your numbers –Janaka Subasinghe, Finance Manager of 3M Sri Lanka

Emotional intelligence – Dr. Ajantha Dharmasiri, Senior Faculty Member and Management Consultant of PIM.

PIMA is dedicated to providing professional development programmes and raising topical issues in public interest programmes. Interested persons who wish to be registered for future programmes or have any inquiries may contact PIMA through [email protected].