EUAS in the Americas: Southwestern Advantage Program: Part 1

Three of our students are spending an iconic American summer this year thanks to America’s Oldest Entrepreneurial Program. Kaspar, Liisbet, and Annika are a part of the 150-year-old Southwestern Advantage program that will empower them with the training and coaching they need to gain work experience and entrepreneurial skills. 178 Estonian students are participating in the program this year, and some of them have gone back this year for the program to learn more about team building and mentorship and to improve their skills.

Kaspar is a third-year undergraduate student studying Marketing. At the same time, Annika is a first-year student, and Liisbet is a second-year student, both from the Master´s Human Resource Management program. The three students from our Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences will get a chance to lead their student organization, albeit small. It will help them gain personal and professional experience where in addition to business and sales skills, they will also practice and gain organizational, motivational, and leadership skills. The students attended an intense training in Nashville, Tennessee, beginning of June, where they got a taste of American culture and the summer heat. During this week, they also got an introduction to different situations in a sales job. Beyond this, each of them has traveled to their working location for the summer.


The program involves selling educational books, apps, and website subscriptions by visiting face-to-face with thousands of families – talking about children’s education. The program divides into 12 weeks, where students receive in-depth business and sales training and spend their summers working and traveling in America. Every week there are different competitions and awards. Students expand their comfort zones while putting their knowledge into practice. Students also get a chance to earn money from the direct sales activity and can use that to cover living expenses and other incidentals and save for the future.


Today, one of the most successful student organizations in the Baltics has grown out of the Southwestern program in Estonia. Over 1,500 students from Estonia have visited the USA in the last 20 years. The program recruits new students every year. Students who have participated in the program and sold Southwestern Advantage books door-to-door for summer work have gone on. Afterward, they became members of the U.S. Senate, leaders of large corporations with a turnover of one million dollars, and recognized doctors, lawyers, investors, teachers, singers, and researchers. Southwestern Advantage alumni have also set up many successful start-ups in Estonia, such as Pipedrive and Fortumo.