Simonas Bingelis | Bring Together Lithuania stories
My name is Simonas Bingelis and although I was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, I have lived in New Jersey, USA for about 19 years. I recently graduated from Villanova University in the United States with a master’s degree in business administration. In addition, I also achieved bachelor’s degrees in Economics and political science from Villanova, while also being a member of a Division I football program. Currently, I am interning with Enterprise Lithuania as part of the Bring Together Lithuania program and later with The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania.
I chose to spend this summer in Lithuania because I hardly had the chance to visit during my academic experience at my university. I wanted to strengthen my Lithuanian roots, cultural identity, and understanding of the political/business dynamic of Lithuania. Although I am extremely proud to be a United States citizen, I have always cherished my Lithuanian roots and identity. My parents always emphasized the importance of maintaining my identity, whether this was through language, food, traditions, or festivities. By being in Lithuania this summer, I knew I will be able to experience all of this in-person and not for only a couple of weeks. This time in Lithuania is extremely important to me and I will use it wisely to learn as much as I can.
Bring Together Lithuania is the perfect program that provides a well-rounded professional, academic, and cultural experience to anyone that seeks to strengthen their roots. Professionally, this program does an excellent job through its vast networks to provide a participant with real-world work experience. This work experience not only strengthens an individual’s understanding of how the Lithuanian private/public sectors operate but also provides an excellent opportunity to build your resume. Academically, Bring Together LT scheduled meetings with different industry leaders and political figures to educate us on the rapidly changing business environment of Lithuania, as well as the nuances of the Lithuanian political arena. These visits include visits to the presidential palace, different ministries, businesses, and factories. Culturally, we have the opportunity to learn about the rich history of Lithuania and how this history will shape our future. Examples of this are trips to Trakai Castle, the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the Old town Kaunas, and Klaipeda. Overall, the experience has been amazing, and I am very grateful to the program for giving us this opportunity.
I chose to complete an internship with Enterprise Lithuania because I believed it would give me greater insights into how the Lithuanian business environment operates. I had always been on the fence when it came to starting a career in the private sector or public sector.
This work experience provides me with experience in both sectors. Although Enterprise Lithuania is operated by the Ministry of Economy of Lithuania, which gives me public sector experience, the company works with many different private Lithuanian businesses that want to export their products or services abroad. Enterprise Lithuania gives me the opportunity to see both sides of the business world and appeals to my interests in international business. More importantly, I know that I am interning for a company that works extremely hard to help smaller businesses reach potential buyers abroad, ultimately strengthening the Lithuanian business environment.