Gone are the days when the only type of internships available in Sri Lanka were attached to a bank, a garment company or a multinational corporation. The shift away from this trend began a few years ago with the coming of a new wave of development, a mixture of “old meets new.” The growing hospitality industry, a revival of the arts scene and a renewed sense of environmental stewardship for our beautiful country have created many opportunities for people to dabble in fields never before thought of.
Historically, Sri Lanka has always lured large numbers of tourists to our shores. The culmination of the war in 2009 saw a resurgence of the tourist scene as global tourism giants like Lonely Planet and New York Times Travel named Sri Lanka as a top tourist destination to visit within the span of a couple of years. Naturally, this led to an influx of luxury hotels and villas popping up around the country, adding to the preexisting government sanctioned “guest houses” and hotels.
However, a few entrepreneurs have realized that the largest tourist segment currently setting foot in Sri Lanka are; the backpackers (Well-informed ‘smart’ travellers – looking to spend less on accommodation and spend more on the attractions). Enter Drift BnB and City Beds – The Regent. Both hostels have now opened their doors to the youth of Sri Lanka interested in the hospitality industry through offering internships (2 week minimum internship period – Contact the hostels directly for more details). Paying attention to details in this field of business is key and the owners do just that. The internships will provide interns the opportunity of shadowing the owners for a week before been placed in the hostel management team to understand the on ground logistics.
Remaining within the hospitality industry, we shift our attention to event planning and management. The owners of the Luna Terrace; a deep sea cocktail bar, rustic tapas kitchen and a 180 degree infinity pool, are looking for interns to help keep their ideas fresh and evolving. Breaking into the scene a few years ago the Closenberg Hotel’s Luna Terrace has grown in stature. Now considered a premier location for the art, music and cultural scene in the island, the backend operation of Luna Terrace would provide an amazing learning opportunity for aspiring event managers and mixologist’s.
In an attempt to improve on the traditional methods of handicrafts Laksala has begun to offer a Handicrafts Board Laksala Internship, a programme that deals with product design and development in collaboration with a range of different local designers. The main goal behind the internship is to create a line of innovative products that offers the customers an improved product with more of a modern day appeal.
It is said that the natural resources of a country contribute immensely to its wealth, a statement that is very applicable to Sri Lanka. The Federation of Environmental Organizations of Sri Lanka, which functions as an umbrella organization for the conservation community was set up to safeguard the nation’s biodiversity, create a network of environmental organizations and educate the Sri Lankan public on the country’s extensive natural resources. The FEO is now offering budding environmentalists an opportunity to intern with them, and contribute to the betterment of our physical environment, a much-needed facet given the rapid developmental pace that Sri Lanka has adopted in the recent past.
However, not all is bleak for the Sri Lankan environmental community. Over the last decade or so Mirissa has become one of the world’s leading destinations for whale watching, with several species of whales being spotted in the southern waters. It was recently established that a resident population of Pygmy Blue Whales inhabit the southern coast leading to in depth studies. The Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project the premier research group in southern Sri Lanka is currently looking for interns to support them in the upcoming field season. An exciting opportunity to work with the very best in the business, awaits some young ocean explorers.
It is certainly an exciting time for the youth of Sri Lanka, given the numerous opportunities out there to engage in non traditional forms of work experience and explore the countless possibilities of work rather than the same old professions often prescribed by the grown ups. This said, for youth looking for a more conservative career, quality internships like the MAS, Deutsche Bank and Dialog Summer Internship, the Unilever Internship Programme and WSO2 Internship Programme also exist in Colombo.
Our suggestion – get out there and expand your horizons.
Feature image courtesy: Readme.lk