Through the Southwestern Advantage program 46 Lithuanian students spent their summer in the US practicing their marketing and entrepreneurial skills and selling educational books. The best seller turned out to be a Lithuanian student who in only three months made a personal profit of 25 000 dollars.
© Reuters/Scanpix

"The first time Lithuanian students participated in the program was already in the year 2001. Through the years the growing skills and numbers of participants have made better and better sales results. This year 46 Lithuanian students managed to sell more than 800 000 dollars' worth of educational books in only three months," commented Southwestern Advantage Lithuanian representative Ieva Alisauskaite.

The Southwestern Advantage program specializes in training students entrepreneurial skills such as sales and leadership throughout the year. In June they fly to the United States, attend several days of additional training in Nashville and after that travel to differnet states. The students work as their own employers buy running their own business of selling educational materials to local families. The students themselves usually stay in host families during their stay.

"We started in Lithuania 17 years ago and during this time we have seen that with proper training and willing to do this quite hard job Lithuanian students have turned out to be very good salespeople," Alisauskaite explained. "One of our Lithuanian students Sarunas Peikstenis from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University turned out to be the best of all the participants between all countries and he was in the US for the first time! He made a personal profit of 25 000 dollars and won a VIP prize trip for it to the Philippines. Of course there is always room for improvement – one of the best students of all time, an Estonian girl, made a personal profit of 100 000 dollars."

The money made during the summer gives the students the opportunity to live comfortably during the rest of the schoolyear, but also invest some of the money. Most of the students from Kaunas are with the Kaunas Technology University and from Vilnius with the Vilnius University.

This summer the Lithuanian students worked in four different states – Texas, Idaho, Arkansas and Illinois. All together they knocked almost on half a million home doors and introduced Lithuania to 150 000 local families. Lithuanian students worked together as a group of 620 students consisting of Estonians, Latvians, Polish and Slovaks. Additionally there were 640 students from different United States universities.

During their free time the students travelled around and visited local sights and after ending their selling summer used the remaining time to travel around the US.

The final results of the sales will be known later as all the books will be delivered to the clients. Final good results will grant the students additional prizes in the form of trips to exotic places around the world. Students who have gathered more experience become team leaders and supervise their own students groups. A lot of the alumni use their experience and knowledge in sales and entrepreneurship to later launch their own companies.

More information about participating and Southwestern Advantage program:

Southwestern Advantage is a 160 year old company of Nashville that recruits and trains university students around the world in entrepreneurial skills through their summer program in the US.

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