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For nineteen students that were selected to be part of SEI 2013 Monday, July 1st was a great day. They started out by having an acquaintance breakfast, where they received some helpful advice from H.E. Musomelli, the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia. They also found out more about the program itself and met their mentors from AmCham Slovenia member companies.

The SEI internship program which we prepare in cooperation with the U. S. Embassy to the Republic of Slovenia within the USAlumni provides internships in chosen AmCham Slovenia member companies to top, highly motivated students coming from several Universities in Slovenia, for the second year in a row now. The program also this year lasts for four weeks in July (1st-31st 2013). With this kind of training that efficiently connects studies with actual economy, and is a common practice abroad, we strive to also enable Slovenian students high quality and valuable experience, and at the same time offer them an introduction into understanding how to do business in the economy. One day in a week – Mondays- will be devoted to a program of practical entrepreneurship and economy, with the goal of encouraging self-initiative at business activity with the students. This program will consist of carefully prepared interactive lectures by Prof. Dr. James Ebben from the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, and will also include excursions, visits and interesting lectures by invited guest speakers.

Beside the introductory meeting participants also experienced their first field-work visit to the company Seaway Group, where they were hosted by Japec Jakopin, co-founder and co-owner of the company. The students were more than thrilled by his persona, his unconventional presentation, the discussion that followed, and the manufacturing facility of the top development company in nautical field shown to them.

Starting to plan their business models and preparing for an excellent pitch under the supervision of prof. Ebben, on their second Monday session, students were introduced to a macroeconomic overview in Slovenia at IMAD (Boštjan Vasle, director), visited Office of the President of the Republic (Marko Makovec, Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the Republic) on topic of economy cooperation with foreign countries and economy delegations abroad, Bank of Slovenia (Karmen Juren, general overview) and Ministry of Finance (Barbara Knapič Navarettte).

The program to follow will consist of classroom lectures, case studies, a visit to Technology Park Ljubljana, meeting Boštjan Bregar, co-owner and CEO at Marg, a visionary entrepreneur that received an investment from foreign fund, visiting CEED, special Study in the USA Day (tips on visas with a Consular Officer, Karen Mims, U.S. Embassy Ljubljana, AdFutura guest speaker Darinka Trček will talk about the opportunities for study/scholarship in the USA for Slovenian students).

Beginning SEI 2013, Monday, July 1st, AmCham Slovenia also launched Mondays are Great! AmCham Initiative for Happy. Life is beautiful, life is NOW! The initiative is connected to a Facebook campaign, where we encourage people to post positive Monday stories or impressions. We invite you to check AmCham Slovenia Facebook page, become fan, put “Mondays are great!” PicBadge on your profile picture and share with us and your friends your Monday happy story, moments… Let’s promote happiness together!