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CEO forum focuses on entering the corporate arena

The American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) organized a CEO forum titled ‘Entering the Corporate Arena’ on January 8. The objective of the forum was to provide students with an insight into Corporate Sri Lanka, and identify the skills and competencies required to build their careers.

The forum also provided an opportunity for students to interact and network with three of the leading CEOs in Sri Lanka.

Amcham Vice President Vijaya Ratnayake, Dialog Telekom Group Chief Executive Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, Group Director MAS Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, Dian Gomes, Virtusa President Asian Operations, Roger Keith Modder, Amcham Secretary Prasath Nanayakkara.

The Speakers who addressed the forum comprised Dialog Telecom Plc Group, Chief Executive, Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, MAS Holdings Group Director Dian Gomes and Virtusa, Asian Operations, President Roger Keith Modder. AmCham Vice President Vijaya Ratnayake delivering the welcome address said that the forum was organized to create a dialog between the present and future leaders of the Corporate Sector of Sri Lanka.

Addressing the forum, Dr Hans Wijayasuriya spoke on ‘Insight into corporate Sri Lanka and what career opportunities are there’.

He emphasized that the students need to make an important rational decision after they graduate, whether to go overseas for work or to stay and work in Sri Lanka. He further emphasized that students need to update themselves with new technology while understanding their weaknesses and be open minded if they are to become the driving force of the new social world.

Keith Modder, addressing the forum on the subject, “You can acquire global exposure in Sri Lanka”, emphasized the saying, “measure twice before you cut once” where students need to think twice before they make a decision to go abroad for studies or work in Sri Lanka. Emerging new players such as China and India have changed the level playing field, hence the need to become ‘globally savvy people’ who can work in any country.

Dian Gomes addressing the forum on “Skills we look for in a graduate and how to prepare themselves”, emphasized the importance of being multi skilled, willing to adapt to different working environments, communicate effectively and the ability to work in teams.

He also emphasized that students need to understand their ‘Blind Spots’ as well as their strengths and to get involved in sports and other extra-curricular activities so that they learn how to accept defeat and to work towards becoming winners.

Answering a question on what differentiates an average graduate from a star graduate who would eventually get employment, Gomes explained that organizations were looking at graduates who are multi talented, who can challenge the status quo and are passionate about what they really believe in.

He further emphasized on an internship program that is being presently conducted by MAS Holdings, Deutsche Bank and Dialog for undergraduates (preferably in their final year) to give them exposure to the corporate world and to develop their soft skills.



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