The John Keells Group, LSEG and Unilever Sri Lanka partner on the FastTrack internship programme, for the second consecutive year.

The John Keells Group (JKH), the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and Unilever Sri Lanka are pleased to announce the eagerly anticipated return of the ‘FastTrack’ summer internship programme. The programme, conceptualised and launched by JKH in 2011, provides Sri Lankan undergraduates with a unique opportunity to participate in an immersive four week internship, offering invaluable industry exposure and career development.

The partnership agreement, signed in 2022, by the 3 organisations, solidified the shared vision of nurturing future leaders and fostering innovation.

FastTrack 2023 sets itself apart as a programme that provides participants with an unparalleled experience that showcases the diverse corporate sector opportunities available in Sri Lanka. This approach aims to challenge the status quo and attract innovative thinkers from within the country as well as Sri Lankan undergraduates overseas who may otherwise seek opportunities abroad.

Expressing his enthusiasm, Krishan Balendra, Chairperson of the John Keells Group, highlighted the core objectives of the FastTrack internship programme. He stated, “Our aim is to provide Sri Lankan undergraduates both here and overseas, with invaluable firsthand experience of the diverse range of career opportunities within the Sri Lankan corporate sector. FastTrack has always been a programme dedicated to engaging with innovative young minds, that have the potential to be the future corporate leaders of Sri Lanka. Despite the challenges we have faced in recent times, our unwavering commitment remains strong in demonstrating that companies like ours not only cultivate respectful and inclusive workplaces but also make significant contributions to our economy, drive innovation, establish sustainable businesses, and empower our communities.”

During the comprehensive four-week programme, selected interns will receive exclusive exposure to various industry sectors, including Leisure, Property, Consumer Foods, Retail, Manufacturing, Information Technology, Analytics, Financial Services, Plantation Services, and Transportation. This firsthand experience will allow participants to gain insights into the operations of each sector through intensive immersion.

Hajar Alafifi, Chairperson and Managing Director of Unilever Sri Lanka, “Our youth are the change agents of Sri Lanka’s future. As such, we at Unilever are pleased to be a part of the ‘FastTrack’ summer internship programme to inspire Sri Lankan students, studying both locally and overseas, to contribute to their homeland through local career opportunities. We are confident the internship programme will play a pivotal role in paving the way for the next generation of diverse leaders, and we are excited to work alongside JKH and LSEG in shaping a vibrant, inclusive, and global platform. At Unilever, we are strong advocates for the importance of internships as a vital part of helping students transition into their careers. This initiative allows us to fast track the learning curve for future-ready leaders, exposing them early on to diverse work styles, environments, and industries, while providing each individual intern with an opportunity to create and maintain a sustainable career they enjoy. Internship programmes like this not only help expand our workforce and strengthen our economies, but they also contribute to creating equitable career and employment pathways.”

Throughout the course of the programme, FastTrack interns will receive guidance and mentorship from seasoned professionals, interact with prominent business personalities, and engage in practical work assignments that bridge their academic backgrounds with real-world career experiences. Additionally, directed workshops will focus on enhancing soft skills such as business etiquette, leadership, and presentation skills, while a project management experience will foster critical teamworking abilities.

Fadhil Jiffry, Chief Financial Officer, LSEG Sri Lanka, spoke about the partnership, saying, “LSEG is delighted to have the chance to provide our future leaders with an extensive, hands-on learning experience that will motivate FastTrack applicants to become leaders in their professions. We are excited to provide them with the chance to connect with industry leaders and bring something special to the projects they will be working on”.

FastTrack 2023 aims to not only to retain young talent within the country but also aims to encourage them to bring their unique strengths and talents back to Sri Lanka, thereby contributing to the nation’s progress.

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