Academic and corporate synergy to increase youth employment
The fourth cycle of the educational program “AmChamps – Young leaders of change,” which involves the most promising students of the University of Belgrade and outstanding young managers of AmCham member companies, was opened. The participants were addressed by Vera Nikolić Dimić, AmCham’s Executive Director, Ana Langović Milićević, State Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Snežana Klašnja, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports and Nikolaos Dimiatriadis, Regional Director the University of Sheffield.
“For the fourth year in a row students and managers will have the opportunity not only to gain first-hand experience from managers of multinational and domestic companies – AmCham members–but also to develop and nourish their potential. In this way students will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to help them adapt to the needs of the labor market in Serbia,” said Nikolić Dimić.
“Linking academic institutions and the corporate sector is a key to improving the education system and reducing unemployment,” said Langović Milicević, adding that for that reason the introduction of dual education is one of the key priorities of the Ministry of Education.
“Through this educational program, students’ extracurricular needs are met: knowledge and soft skills that can be acquired only through practice, and encouragement to continuously work on personal and professional development ” said Klašnja.
“AmChamps” is a unique educational program designed to provide students and managers with a platform to develop business skills and knowledge through mentoring relationships, helping students to prepare for the job market and to advance in their careers. During the intensive year ahead, participants will attend workshops and lectures, and in addition in receiving valuable business perspective from AmCham companies’ top managers, they will be given specific tasks: case studies, presentations, papers, etc.
During the last three years, 63 mentor-mentee pairs participated in the AmChamps program. After completion of AmChamps, the students were given the opportunity to have internship in AmCham member companies, and improve through practice what they learned.
The fourth generation of the program consists of 22 carefully selected students and 22 young managers from the most successful companies in Serbia. The program is competitive, and the best students will receive valuable prizes such as scholarships for MBA and Master studies at the University of Sheffield. The liveliest elements of the opening event were round-robin sessions of speed meeting – a series of 4-minute interviews, in which both managers and students established first impressions of themselves. After an exhausting hour and a half, participants ranked potential mentors/mentees from 1 to 22, and software based on optimization of the rankings paired the best fits.