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Riding the Learning Curve of an incredible Summer Internship

The MAS Holdings, Dialog Axiata and HEMAS Holdings Summer Internship Programme drew to a close on 18th August 2017 at the Dialog Auditorium amidst good cheer. The eight-week programme offered interns valuable exposure to experience-based training, competency building workshops, familiarization with the three participating companies, interaction with distinguished corporate heads, industry-related projects and a CSR initiative to raise money towards the Ayati Trust Sri Lanka. The 21 interns who were selected for this highly-coveted summer internship programme were handpicked from amongst a pool of over 2,000 applicants hailing from leading local and international universities. This Summer Internship programme has attracted a steady rise of highly qualified applicants with each passing year, reflecting the reputation it has earned as a highly valued programme that adds genuine value towards future job prospects.

The bright young interns made their final presentations to the Board members of the three respective companies, which included Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean (Chairman – MAS Holdings), Mrs. Sandra De Zoysa (Group Chief Customer Officer – Dialog Axiata) and Mr. Steven Enderby (CEO HEMAS Holdings). The presentations were based on three different challenges that were given to the interns by each of the respective companies and they detailed the innovative solutions they had devised to combat those challenges.

During the internship programme, the interns were fortunate to avail of the opportunity to interact with Deshamanya Mahesh Amalean (Chairman – MAS Holdings) along with Mr. Shakti Ranatunga (Group HR – Director – MAS Holdings), Mr. Nathan Sivagananathan (CEO – MAS Innovations) and Mr. Sarinda Unamboowe (CEO – MAS Kreeda), to gain insight into the growth of MAS Holdings and its very unique culture, while benefitting from their combined wealth of professional experience.

Mr. Supun Weerasinghe (CEO – Dialog Axiata) and Mr. Steven Enderby (Group CEO – HEMAS Holdings) hosted the interns in their respective corporate offices to give them a brief introduction to their respective companies, while offering the interns the opportunity to gain knowledge and encouraged them to ask questions.

Adding further value to the programme, the interns were privileged to undergo a Presentation Skills Workshop conducted by Sharlyn Stafford and an experiential learning facilitated by Borderlands – Sri Lanka.

The CSR component is a key aspect of the internship programme. This year, the interns were tasked with organizing a musical show entitled ’Api Kauruda LIVE in concert featuring Chitral Somapala’, which was held on 13th August at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre. The interns demonstrated their capabilities by organizing a scintillating show which helped raise a total sum of Rs. 2.3 Million, which was donated to the Ayati Trust Sri Lanka, who are building Sri Lanka’s first National Center of Excellence for children born with disabilities and disorders. Apart from the main fundraiser, the interns also sold raffle tickets, created a GoFundMe Platform to facilitate international contributions, raised donations locally, and spread awareness about the cause to enhance outcomes for these children.

Expressing her enthusiasm about the Summer Internship programme, Shashini Wijenayake, a 2017 intern currently doing her undergraduate study from the University of London at Royal Institute Colombo said,

“Within a short span of eight weeks, I was able to gain the experience and exposure that I have heard many people speak of only after having completed a number of years at a large corporate. It felt like an experience of a lifetime since it was delivered in a well-crafted manner within a short period of eight weeks!!”

Yet another enthused 2017 intern, Takesh Kariyawansa, who is currently doing his final year of MEng Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol, added,

“Being an Engineering student, I was exposed to new fields during the Summer Internship Programme. The planning and organisation of the programme was beyond my expectations. Knowing how internships work at companies in the UK, I can confidently say that I gained so much more experience and was exposed to a much wider range of subjects than I would have anywhere else. I gained a number of skills that will not only help me when I start working but even at university. The friendships and connections I made are invaluable and the programme made that summer one of the most memorable ones I’ve had so far. I would do it all over again if I had the opportunity!”

The main objective of the Summer Internship Programme is to give students an insight into career opportunities in Sri Lanka and to provide them with the tools to successfully integrate into the corporate sector upon completion of their degrees.