The ICT Industry in Sri Lanka has been marked as one of the fundamental powerhouses
fuelling the new economic voyage of the nation. Today, technology is the rudimentary
driver of global economic growth. Not only is technology rapidly transforming the
face of the world economy, but it is also changing the fundamentals of human possibility,
redefining the boundaries of communication and travel, and re-shaping the way the
world thinks and works.
The Microsoft Student Champs Program was launched in Sri Lanka with the objective
of building the next generation of technologists. Recognizing the importance of
today’s young generation, both for their competencies and limitless thinking skills
which play a crucial role in innovation, Microsoft launched the Student Champ Community
is in adherence to this global vision and avowed mission to empower the youth of
the country. At present, the Microsoft Student Champ Community stands as the largest
growing student technology community in the island with over 180 registered undergraduates
from over 10 Universities across Sri Lanka.
The Microsoft Student Champ Community, has and is, leading the way as the pioneering
body for IT Students in Sri Lankan Universities to ‘connect, share and grow’, while
getting unprecedented Industry exposure and working closely with Microsoft, the
world’s premier software giant. Mr. Wellington Perera (Director, DPE – Microsoft,
Sri Lanka) explains that, “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for University
students to develop real world skills which will help them succeed in their future
careers, learn and experience new technologies, connect with like-minds and network
with top industry pros.” He further states that this program offers an excellent
opportunity for University Students in Sri Lanka to get an unparallel leadership
and teamwork experience, while furthering their academic and career development.
This community consists of Undergraduates who are following a course of study in,
or related to ICT. It is open to any and every student who has a passion for technology
and a drive for innovation. Having commenced in 2005 with less than 10 students
from the University of Moratuwa and University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC),
this community has now expanded its reach to various Universities across the Island
and has an active membership of over 200 undergrads.
While all community members are uniformly classified as “Champs”, a selected number
who have shown exceptional dedication and performance in this community are offered
the title Microsoft Student Ambassador (MSA) of whom there are currently 8. Members
of this community get to conduct, host, execute and participate in a range of activities
that give much needed value addition to their personal portfolio. From conducting
exhibitions and workshops, to seminars, competitions, code camps, trainings, fun-outings,
monthly meetings and quarterly events, these Techies are exposed to an all-new level
of managerial and leadership experiences which are highly relevant to the Industry.
“What we aim is to create a new strand of techies who have the multiplicity of skills
needed to survive and compete in the Industry. Most applicants lack these extra-skills
because of the lack of opportunity to experience them. Microsoft Student Champs
have successfully outdone these and have become recognized by top employers for
their outstanding capabilities,” says Mr. Perera.
Stepping beyond the traditional realm the Microsoft Student Champs have been able
to pioneer a new learning experience where both real-world exposure and technical
expertise combine to offer a new outlook to the conventional ‘techie’.
A number of monthly meetings and workshops had been held at a variety of higher
education institutes including APIIT, University of Moratuwa, University of Colombo
School of Computing, SLIIT as well as the Open University of Sri Lanka within the
last 6 months. The Student Champs are planning further visits to the University
of Rajarata and the University of Wayamba in the coming months in the hope of widening
their community base and taking their positive and empowering experiences to more
students throughout Sri Lanka.
In a further step to reach-out to more undergraduates across the Island, the Microsoft
Student Champs will be conducting a Networking Event in January. This will be an
excellent opportunity for students who are interested in getting more information
to gain a better insight into the community and its activities while networking
with industry leaders, peers and friends. Those who wish to obtain more information
regarding the Microsoft Student Champs Program can visit the website of this student
community: www.champs.lk or their Facebook Page Microsoft Student Champs to be updated
about their activities.