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40 posts categorized "Portland Global"

Surfin' Safari in Portland!

Who knew surfing was so popular in Portland Maine?  Given the chilly water temps (59 degrees) and the fact that it is winter 10 months of the year (OK, maybe only 9 months...)  we thought the concept of a surf shop being successful was quite interesting.  Enter owner and founder of Maine Surfers Union Charlie Fox:  Charlie told us the story of what makes his business unique, how he retains and gathers new customers, and how social media has helped his business grow.  Students enjoyed hearing his story, asked questions and even got some fun new stickers with the super cool logo:

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 2.55.44 PM
Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 2.55.44 PM

We enjoyed hearing all about the surfing industry in Maine, and we look forward to visiting the shop when we go back into Portland on Monday.  Charlie stayed around to answer student's questions.  He will be back as one of the "sharks" for the pitch presentations next week.



Monday Funday

Following a fun filled weekend, it was back to work first thing Monday morning. Students picked a card and were randomly assigned to teams for their final business plan pitch. Topics are :Food items, souvenirs and 1/2 day tourist experiences.


Then the work began! Student teams spent several hours brainstorming ideas for products or services to be offered in Southern Maine. 


Work ended a bit earlier on Monday so students could get ready for the Portland SeaDogs game! Earlier in the day, instructors announced the 1st weeks Most Valuable Players, who would pitch the 1st balls at the Sea Dogs game. The criteria for being named MVP was consistent team and class participation; respectful of other team and class members; contributions to team and group work; a positive and enthusiastic attitude and serious work ethic. The students selected, Maija, Roberts and Oskars, were honored at the baseball game!


Students and staff had a fun filled time at the game, even though the Sea Dogs lost by one run! 



Tuesday, work begins on defining customers and developing surveys for Wednesday's trip to Portland to gather data.

Beth Richardson, Instructor

First Week

Hello to all parents and hello to all friends,

can you believe the first week has come to an end?

The students are lovely, and ever so bright,

It is a pleasure to see them each and every night.

They work hard in classes, we're very impressed.

The Baltics and US have sent us their best.

They've learned to play baseball and liked it a bunch,

Laughing together at dinner, breakfast, and lunch.

Today we went kayaking, everything was smooth to begin.

And all kept smiling even after one group fell in.

Sharing our cultures, stories, and songs.

Relaxing with card games, pool, and ping-pong.

They're all safe and happy, we promise you this.

When they fly back home, we are sure they will miss,

The friendships, the lessons, the memories, the laughs

Special thanks to parents, friends, and the people at BAFF.

Soon I must go and lay my head down to bed,

Tomorrow is another day and we have much ahead.

Wherever you may be, it could be early or late,

Wishing you best from yours,


Sarah Kate




The Perfect Way to End the Week


Happy Birthday from America!

Happy Birthday from Lithuania!

Happy Birthday from Estonia!

Happy Birthday from Latvia!

Happy Birthday Maija from around the World!

Today one of our fantastic students from Latvia, Maija, celebrates her 18th birthday! We celebrated with tons of delicious desserts including cupcakes and more ice cream than anyone should normally eat. To top off her special day Maija's team won the Sea Dogs presentation competition. A special shout out to all of the groups who did a fantastic job with their presentations today. After watching you guys work so hard all week I was so impressed by how well all of you guys could work together and am so proud of you. I can't wait to spend even more time with all these amazing kids.



A Laugh with BAFF

What an amazing few days it has been here in Portland, Maine!


Ever since Sunday when everyone arrived, I have had a feeling of excitement for the 34 students we have studying here for 3 weeks. They are intelligent, they are engaged, and they are quite entertaining! 

Each night during free time I have had the most fun because the BAFF (Baltic-American Freedom Foundation) students are eager to show me what their home countries are like! The first night, Egle and Vilte showed me some popular Lithuanian memes, and we just laughed and laughed for about an hour long!

Here's my favorite one. It basically translates to "When you don't let the opera singer on the bus..." (Make sure you have the volume on ;) )

The second night, Rodijs (from Latvia) and many others surrounded the computer to show us their favorite Eurovision Song Contest performances. Again, we laughed and laughed at some of these rather crazy videos! And at times everyone joined along to sing!

The third night, Marta, Roberts, Indrikis (all from Latvia), and Gabriele (Lithuania) brought me to Google Maps and took me through the best places to visit in the Baltic States. Plus they told me about the incredible Latvian Song and Dance Festival, which I absolutely adored. Many of them had performed at this festival so it was great to celebrate their accomplishments with them. Here is one of the traditional songs they sing. Note that there are 30,000 performers at this festival!

It was such a joy to learn about these amazing countries, their histories, and their cultures, and it was even better to see the pride and joy each of the students had while sharing with me. I can't wait for more YouTube videos and sing-alongs! :)


Day 3 in Portland: In the Classroom and Around the Town

Our Portland Global students have been learning about the importance of Market Research and meeting the needs and wants of a Target Market.  You can see students busy at work researching!IMG_8361


In addition to searching the internet for useful information, our students have also been busy creating their own surveys. They have brainstormed what information they need about their audience and have learned the best ways to collect and analyze that data.

Portland Global Students
Students surveying local law enforcement officers in Downtown Portland

Students also had a chance to check in with Leigh Kellis, Small Business Administration’s Maine Small Business Person of the Year and owner of Holy Donut.  Leigh shared insight on starting a business, conducting research, and suggestions on meeting the needs of those in Portland.  Students even had a chance to try her delicious product!

Once students had a better understanding of the city, they spent a few hours downtown surveying locals with questions they developed to help the Sea Dogs Baseball team attract more millennials.

Portland Global Students
Students conducting Market Research in Portland, ME

Day 2 in Portland: Getting comfortable on campus and adjusting to life in these United States

Portland Entrepreneurship students are acclimating to life on the SMCC campus.  We have a beautiful view from the cafeteria:






Students are working hard in the classroom and lunch is always a nice break from the academics.




Today we are preparing our group presentations for the pitch to Seadogs representatives Friday morning.  It is exciting to watch students working hard to develop their recommendations - tomorrow we go into Portland to conduct market research to support the proposals.

Day one and we are off!

Day one started off with a beautiful blue sky, warm breezes from the nearby ocean and slightly tired but energized smiles from our 34 students.


After students paired up and introduced each other, We began with a thorough analysis of the definition of entrepreneurship and the skills and characteristics of entrepreneurs by brainstorming and recording ideas on colorful post-it notes. 



After a thorough discussion, we examined others' definitions of entrepreneurship and then watched an episode of Shark Tank to observe some successful college-aged entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to potential investors. 

Following lunch, a tour of the campus and a session with our technology experts, we visited the local AA minor league baseball affiliate of the Boston RedSox, known as the Portland SeaDogs. 



During this first week, students will complete a project for the Sea Dogs on marketing baseball to the millennial generation. Our visit included a tour of the stadium and an opportunity to try out the home team's dugout. 



Following the stadium tour, the project was shared with us by the VP of Marketing for the Sea Dogs and the Assistant General Manager. We ended the work day by taking picture with the Sea Dogs mascot, Slugger the Sea Dog. Tomorrow, we begin project work by designing surveys to conduct in Portland on Wednesday afternoon.



Meet Your Session 2 Program Leader: Seamus


Hello future entrepreneurs and welcome to Portland, Maine!

My name is Seamus Lynch and I will be working as one of the Resident Assistants this summer. I currently attend the University of New Hampshire and am majoring in both International Business and Management. I recently spent the first semester of my junior year studying abroad in Budapest, Hungary and I had the time of my life.

I was born and raised in Maine and I've been here all my life. I love anything outdoors, especially hiking, hunting, and swimming. I can't wait to meet you guys and hopefully make your experience studying abroad as fun and memorable as it was for me. See you soon!


Meet your Session 2 Program Leader: Sam Skold


Hello!! My name is Sam Skold and here is a photo of me in Patagonia, Chile!

I love to travel, especially to beautiful places like the southern tip of the Americas, but this Summer I have the privilege of staying in my home state as a Resident Advisor for the CIEE Global Entrepreneurship program in Portland, Maine! I must say, I am anxious to meet everyone as they arrive tomorrow, because we have an amazing three weeks planned, and I can't wait to get started! Before I get carried away, here is a little bit about me: 

I am 24 years old, and in 2015 I graduated from college with a degree in Spanish and a passion for international education. While in college I had the chance to study abroad for a semester on the beautiful coast of Chile, which turned out to be a life-changing experience. After I graduated, I then lived and worked in Nicaragua for a year on a plantain farm, at a deaf school, and at a child refuge center. It brings me great joy to be able to still be involved in international education here at CIEE. It is a great company and I believe the students who are coming to Portland will have an unforgettable experience!

We can't wait to see you! And parents, if you are reading this - don't worry! Your children are going to have a wonderful time and they will be back home in no time ;) 

Every day one of us 6 staff members will be writing a blog post, so make sure to check it out! 

Safe travels!