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SLIIT signs MoU with Unilever Sri Lanka to broaden knowledge, skills and competencies of undergraduates

Formally instating a partnership that existed for over five years, the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), one of the most recognised and respected non-state higher educational institutes in Sri Lanka, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Unilever Sri Lanka, one of the largest Fast-Moving Consumer Goods companies in the country, to create better exposure and opportunities for SLIIT undergraduates and graduates. The MOU is expected to serve as a basis for further enhanced cooperation between SLIIT and Unilever Sri Lanka.
The Dean of SLIIT Business School, Prof. Samantha Thelijjagoda, and Human Resources Director of Unilever Sri Lanka, Ananya Sabharwal, were the signatories for the MoU.
The ceremony was held in the presence of the Head of the Department of Information Management of SLIIT Business School (SBS), Prof. Ruwan Jayathilake; Head of the Department of Business Management of SBS, Dr. Nisha Jayasuriya; Senior Academic Fellow of SBS, Dr. Shanatha Yapa; Senior Manager – Student Services & Career Guidance, Ranmini Unantenne; Senior Lecturer & Industry Liaison, Ranitha Weerarathna; Management Associate – Career Guidance, Tharushi Wimalaweera and Management Associate – SBS, Dilum Perera of SLIIT.
On behalf of Unilever Sri Lanka, Senior HR Business Partner & Employer Brand Lead, Keshavi Puswewala; Assistant Manager Talent and Employer Brand, Tahanee Harris; and Talent & Employer Brand Project Assistant, Shehani Fernando graced the occasion.
Sharing his pleasure over the collaboration, Dean of SLIIT Business School, Prof. Samantha Thelijjagoda shared; “I’m honoured and pleased to have further strengthened SLIIT’s relationship with Unilever Sri Lanka. We aim to implement several initiatives to support our students by enriching them with hands-on skills and competencies in different areas with the focus of creating work-ready graduates.”
Sharing her thoughts about the partnership, Ananya Sabharwal, Human Resources Director of Unilever Sri Lanka said “Youth are the future of the world and in Sri Lanka, youth are the ones who are going to build the nation towards a bright successful tomorrow. That is why we have partnered with SLIIT, with a collective purpose to develop our youth and upskill them while creating enriching job opportunities for them within the country. We believe that our strong partnership with SLIIT will support and empower our students to invest in their development journeys and craft purposeful and future-fit careers”.
From 2018 onwards, Unilever has collaborated with SLIIT on many occasions to promote the skills of undergraduate students and develop their competencies. With the Unilever SPARKS Student Ambassadorship Programme, SLIIT identifies young talented leaders in the institute who have a passion to become agents of change, and helps them develop real-world skills and bridge with like-minded industry professionals and peers, while acting as a liaison between Unilever and the institute.
The dining etiquette workshop held in 2018 and 2019 was organised by Unilever’s SPARKS Student Ambassadors in collaboration with Knorr, SLIIT Business School and the SLIIT Career Guidance Unit to educate students on best practices of table manners as a partial requirement for their Career Readiness and Business Etiquette Module under the guidance of module leader, Ranitha Weerarathna. Unilever was also the co-sponsor for Soft Skills+, an interschool quiz contest and soft skills workshop to cultivate skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, leadership skills and creative thinking, among grade 11 to 13 commerce stream students in state, private and international schools.
In addition, Unilever together with the SLIIT Career Guidance Unit and SLIIT Business School have organised many on-campus and virtual training programmes and knowledge-sharing sessions to help undergraduates develop their personal attributes, understand what it means to be professional in the workplace and gain employability skills.

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