Intern Insight – Bright Purple Lithuania

Hi everyone! My name is Skaiste and I’m studying at Vilnius Lyceum. Many people say that it is the best school in Lithuania and actually it is! I am participating in the internship project organized by “School of Success”.

When I found out that I had been accepted for project I was extremely happy. I wanted to experience what real work means, to develop my skills and gain an understanding of a profession that maybe something I want to do when I leave school. But as the big day approached I felt a little bit scared. I had checked Bright Purple’s website to learn more about the company and the first impression was very good. I liked the ideas and the values of the company and was looking forward to finding out more, so I was waiting for my first day impatiently. As I said, I was excited and a little bit scared at the same time but on my arrival I was greeted by four friendly ladies: Egle, Lina, Jurga and Jurate who instantly put me at ease.

The first few days were full of emotion, meeting new people and being in working environment all very new to me. I met via video conference with Diana (HR), Amanda (Marketing & Social Media), Sarah (Apprentice), Megan (Office Administrator) and Nick (CEO) all based from the Edinburgh head office. They were amazing! My English is not perfect but they created a really comfortable and friendly environment, so I just forgot all my worries. I learned a lot of new things, like presentation skills, CPD. Also I learned more about social media, marketing, diversity in the workplace. These will all be very useful in for my future.

On Wednesday I visited a client with Egle, Jurate and Jurga. It was a very interesting experience to get an insight into how to conduct yourself in front of clients in a professional manner.  This is something I will definitely find useful in the future; I can also use this experience when I attend interviews.

To sum up, these few days gave me a lot of food for thought. I am really glad to be here. Thank you guys, you are awesome!

First Lithuanian Intern arrives at Bright Purple

Sėkmės Mokykla, http://www.schoolofsuccess.org/en the School of Success is an NGO based in Vilnius in Lithuania that specializes in non-formal education and aims to contribute in bringing up a society of successful, active and responsible youth in Lithuania.

– Simona laiconaite, School of Success Simona Laiconaitė, one of the team at School of Success explains that School of Success has been organizing educational events/trainings for senior students since 2007, regarding topics of social competences and personal development.

What inspires us? Our volunteers do not lack energy or in fact creativity and the teenagers that get involved do so with a passion to participate in every project, seminar, conference and training session.

In May 2012 School of Success organised a pilot project of student‘s (10-graders) to take part in an internship with local or international companies based in Lithuania. The idea for introducing work experience week to Lithuania came from Ben Harvey. Ben is originally from the UK where he worked in a senior position for Price Waterhouse and Ben has now been living in Lithuania for the past 15 years running his own business called Growing Talent, acting as a leadership coach to a variety of businesses.

The core element of the project is to provide ‘real-life’ work experience for a tenth-grader in a company, cultural organisation, NGO or governmental institution and according to the sphere of the interns interest‘s. The project is aimed to introduce students to the actual concept of work through the range of organizations from different operational sectors and to inspire and motivate them think about their future career’s while still being in the safety of the school environment.

The original pilot was a great success, because students could see the value of trying out a profession they were interested in and understanding whether their vision coincided with the reality on the day. Teachers were proud to see that their students came back to school much more motivated than they were before and companies claimed to have gotten fresh ideas and viewpoints that they’d never thought of before.

Therefore, School of Success didn’t waste any time in organizing a second batch of students’ ready to take on the challenges of the internship. It’s the School of Successes belief that the project will inspire and help young people to make the right decisions in choosing their future studies and making first career steps, understand what competences they lack to become good professionals able to add value to the companies they join and also how to improve themselves through their experiences.

This time the School of Success is happy to announce that students’ internship project goes international with the help of Bright Purple team in Vilnius and Edinburgh. On Monday 5th November, Egle and the Bright Purple team in Vilnius will welcome Skaiste, she is a 16 year old student at Vilnius Lyceum – http://www.licejus.lt/index.php/english,2 and Skaiste has a full week planned for her, working with both the Lithuanian team, as well as the team at head quarters in Scotland. Quite an experience for this young lady and one that School of Success hopes will inspire her to return to school full of new ideas and thinking.

For Bright Purple it’s a return to welcoming young people in to the company following the success of the Bright Futures Programme – https://brightfuturesprogramme.wordpress.com/ and you will be able to follow Skaiste’s week on the blog pages. Skaiste will also spend some time learning from one of Bright Purple’s hugely successful young apprentices, Sarah Dougal and we are certain the two girls will have a lot in common and work well together.

We hope this is the start of a long and fruitful relationship between the School of Success and Bright Purple for years to come.

World Lithuanian Youth Conference 2012 – Harmony Park, Lithuania – July 2012

(Lina Adukaite – Senior Consultant Bright Purple CEEB region)

Lina Adukaite, Senior Consultant Bright Purple CEEB region, who attended the conference with her colleagues Jurga and Jurate talks about her experiences of the day and the Scottish connection.

 “We are a small nation, therefore, everyone of us have to be ten times as cautious, good, educated and do ten times more than members of large nations,” the Lithuanian President stated at the opening of the Meeting of World Lithuanian Youth 2012. Dalia Grybauskaitė added she would always support those who want to identify with and work for Lithuania, very patriotic and may I say, it made me think that our Scottish counterparts would be of a similar mindset? After all Scots as I have learnt from my time working at Bright Purple, are a fiercely patriotic people!

The ‘Meeting of World Lithuanian Youth 2012’ took place at Harmony Park in Prienai district, of Lithuania. The event was the first of this kind and on this scale, since the independence of Lithuania.

The Festival welcomed everyone regardless of a country of residence, occupation or age. It was a place to have great time and make friends from all over the world. It was a meeting point for those whom “Lithuania” has a special meaning in their hearts.

The World Lithuanian Youth meeting is the youth festival encompassing science, business, and politics and cultural areas. There were more than a dozen areas where over a hundred presentations, meetings and discussions took place. Discussions with well-known figures were open to everyone wishing to share their beliefs and attitudes. The world Lithuanian youth meeting was attended by 3,500 people from more than 30 different countries, that’s an amazing statistic.

The Prime Minister along with the ministers of national defence, justice, foreign affairs and education had a discussion with the young audience on Friday, 13th of July. Discussions took place around business, science, cultural and political topics, creativity workshops, sports events, meetings with prominent people, networking and career fairs, along with an entertainment agenda of film screenings, concerts, plays, and a fashion show were also held over two days. It was a packed agenda!

AMBASSADORS OF THE EVENT:

Ilja Laurs – Founder and Chairman of GetJar, world’s largest independent mobile application store. “European Manager of the Year 2011”, “25 European Tech Leaders”, “Top 40 most influential people in mobile communications”. Ilja speaks on all major telecommunication conferences and is regularly quoted in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNN, CNBC, BBC, Bloomberg and many other news sources. GetJar is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Seattle, the UK and Lithuania.

Dalia Ibelhauptaitė – is a Lithuanian opera, theatre and film director. In 1991, Ibelhauptaitė was invited to the Royal National Theatre Studio in London. She has been in London ever since. Ibelhauptaitė has also given master classes at National Opera Studio and Royal National Theatre Studio in London, is a popular teacher in China, Israel, Holland, France, Los Angeles and India. Ibelhauptaitė married to an English actor Dexter Fletcher.

Andrius Mamontovas – Actor, singer and composer, awarded for Merits to Lithuania, nominated for the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Award, “Street Music Day” ideological leader.

Algirdas Kaušpėdas – is a Lithuanian rock musician, the leader of Lithuanian rock group Antis, an architect and one of the Sąjūdis (Reform Movement of Lithuania) initiators.

Juozas Statkevičius – Lithuania’s most prominent fashion designer. He is the first designer from the Baltics presented his haute couture collections in Paris and the first Lithuanian who has made appearance on glossy pages of Elle and Vogue. His designs are available in New York, London, Tokyo and such stars as Bjork, K. Sadgwick, N. Watts and Princess of Denmark Mary wear them.

Ray Bartkus – is a Lithuanian artist. He is the designer of the Lithuanian 50 Litas bill. Since 1991, he has illustrated for a number of publications, including the New York Times Book Review, Harper’s Magazine, the Wall Street Journaland Time Magazine.

Jonas Valančiūnas – is a 20 years old Lithuanian professional basketball player, currently playing for the Toronto Raptors. He is a member of the Lithuanian national basketball team. Valančiūnas was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Antanas Guoga – is a LithuanianAustralian businessman and professional poker player. Currently a major sponsor of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation.

And the biggest attraction was President (1994-1998) of Costa Rica – José María Figueres Olsen. A businessman and politician after he left the presidency of Costa Rica, he is involved in global issues such as climate change, sustainable development, and technology. He led the World Economic Forum – Concordia 21, and from March 2012 he is The President of organization “Carbon War Room” fighting for climate change.

The Career Fair – was based at the stable’s in Harmony Park and we all thought it sounded very British and very Royal! It is a heated horse arena that conforms to international standards and international horse competitions are often held there.

Our friends at the stable‘s included a variety of some of the biggest companies in Lithuania, as well as an array of International businesses to include Lithuanian Post, Lithuanian Railways, Invest Lithuania, Danske bank, SVYTURYS and UTENOS ALUS breweries, Enterprise Lithuania, Philip Morris Lietuva, Vytautas Magnus University, ISM, Eika, The National Association of Lithuanian electricity and Baltic Legal Solutions, amongst others.

This was a fantastic opportunity to meet many people, many young people who will play a part in the future of Lithuania one day and the Bright Purple brand demonstrated the proactive attitude of our firm and stood out for all to see and we received a lot of compliments for that! Our stand was busy all day long and we met a lot of interesting Lithuanians who had travelled from many continents, shared a lot of our contacts and it didn’t stop there, because after the career fair was over, we decided to enjoy the rest of the event and we were lucky enough to take some salsa lessons with a Lithuanian trainer who was based in Australia!

Why have I been asked to speak about this youth conference by Bright Purple?

Because our CEO Nick Price and Bright Purple have shown their commitment to youth through the very successful and prominent, Bright Futures Programme, they believe in youth and its ability to add value and at the same time, Lithuania is also committed to working hard to secure the future of its youth – seems like a lot of comparison’s to me?

Scotland, like Lithuania is a small country and its youth is critical to its future success as a Nation and therefore making sure that the youth is engaged, inspired and fully motivated to make a difference is vitally important. Lithuania, again like Scotland has many issues with regards to its youth population and both countries have suffered from a lack of exciting opportunities that engages its youth and both have therefore seen an exodus of talent over the years and yet similarly, both countries are always keen to try to attract their national’s back home, bringing new found skills and experiences with them.

What can we learn from each other as both our small nations push to grow in the global economy and how can we achieve the necessary growth, if we lack plentiful skilled talent, with the rights attributes and skills that match our Nation’s ambitions? Without talent we can’t grow, can we? Youth lays at the centre of the puzzle – we must engage and inspire youth and we must give them the opportunities they desire, or we’ll simply see them leave us for more attractive shores.

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Bright Purple’s apprentices and they have shown me that you can very quickly develop talent; I think it’s amazing what our firm has done in just 6 months with 6 young people! It’s even more amazing given the youngsters who started in January 2012 were previously uninspired or without the motivation or drive to continue in to further education, something here in Lithuania we take for granted that all our youngsters will carry on to further education.

Youngsters need to be given the chance to shine, in both our small countries and in Lithuania there are already many young people making their mark in industry and politics, but we need more opportunities for them. How much more can be done in Scotland to engage youth, I would suggest a lot

Can Scotland match Lithuania and hold its own World Youth Conference – why not try and see what happens and give youth a voice on a big scale, just as we have done so successfully here in my home country of Lithuania.