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Student Takeover- Marta Vinerte

On July 9th we - thirty emerging leaders from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - started our long awaited journey to the United States of America. After a long trip form our home countries to Boston, Massachusetts we were greeted by our resident staff and taken to our final destination – “Southern Maine Community College” in South Portland, Maine.


On day 1 we were already engaging in our first tasks and activities, one of them being a trip to the local minor baseball team's 'Portland Sea Dogs' stadium, where we were taken on a tour, divided into three groups and given our first big team task - to do a market research and find out, what would attract millennials to attend a baseball game.


On day 2, after being given insight about how a primary market research works, we started to work on our projects and did a good job creating a survey that we could carry out in order to do our primary market research. In the end of the day, we did some more "research" on baseball by learning the rules and playing it on our own it's the help of our resident staff Sarah Kate, Sam and Seamus.

Day 3 was a big day for us as we went to Downtown Portland to interview some of its millennials. Before 'getting to business' we visited the "Holy Donuts", listened to its owner's story of success and of course had a taste  of her deliiiicious donuts! After that we went into the streets of Portland and interviewed some of its millennials - locals as well as tourists. This activity gave as a chance not only to understand how primary market research actually works, but it also allowed us to get to know the American people and culture a bit better. I can say that it was pleasantly surprising to see how responsive and polite Portland citizens are. The majority of them are happy to engage in conversations, and even if they didn't have time to respond to our questions, they let us know about it in a nice way. The program participant Edita says that "it was nice to see how responsive the Portland people are and how much they actually care about the local businesses." She adds that "it was a pleasant experience and that she was really happy to do the survey."


The following day was filled with hard work for everyone. Our main task on day 4 was to analyze the data, which was gathered from both primary and secondary research, make a presentation as well as our speeches and practice them in front of our teachers and resident staff. All three teams showed great dedication and worked on their projects until the last minute, trying to make everything as perfect as possible.


Friday was the big day for us. Sea Dogs representatives arrived at SMCC to listen to our presentations. The feedback we got was very satisfying and we were all happy about the fact, that they seriously considered our ideas and suggestions. Sea Dogs staff, our teachers, resident staff and the students themselves all made sure that everyone had made a lot of effort. However, only one team could win and that was team nr. 1, who were given Sea Dogs foam fingers as gifts.


After the presentations all of us felt relieved, happy and excited for the adventures that were in store for us in the weekend. :)