Already two years in the position, which requires deep knowledge of ESN Lithuania, best features of it or simply how to make them look so. Always having an answer and knowing how to convince you to get whatever he needs. Simas Ivanauskas is the first and so far the only Partnership Manager of ESN Lithuania, who is pushing the organization forward by the amount of new partnerships and their support he has acquired recently. Let’s talk with him to see what it means to be in the position, which is an essential part of the National Board and entire ESN Lithuania.

Hello Simas! It‘s your second year in the National Position as a Partnership Manager. How is it going?

Perfect as always. As some of you may know that when I was in this position for the first time as well... when I could say I was just warming up my feets. Now everything is much better. I have acquired some experience and now I know how to do this job and what to do here.

Tell us more about your ESN journey. How did you get to know about ESN? How did you become a part of LT NB?

Some time ago I used to be very lazy. I don’t say that I am not lazy at the moment but I am trying to cope with that. So story begins in one of my sunny lazy spring mornings. One my neighbor from dormitory (former ESN’er) comes to my room and says: Simas, you have to go to ESN. Of course I didn’t apply for the mentor position. I missed the deadline. When there was another selection he came to me one more time and told me to register for mentors’ program. The journey began in my home section ESN VGTU. After that Simona (our NR) pushed me to apply for ESN VGTU board. After that she made me to apply for the national board position. And now I am here. Of course it is just a short version of everything that happened within this period. There were much more adventures.

What are the biggest challenges in your position?

There are lots of them. I think that if you are doing something then you will face challenges all the time. Maybe the biggest challenge is communicating with other people. You have to grasp them and sometimes it is quite difficult. Sometimes you can hear from them negative opinions about yourself but you have to “install a firewall” into yourself and just ignore all those negative words or emotions.

Which personal features are necessary for being partnership manager?

For me most important is to be confident (sometimes even opinionated), polite, honest and to have the sense of humor. If you have these characteristics then you are prepared for this position. Of course there are different people who are using different techniques so the characteristics may differ.

How does the process of making the partnership look like?

It is a secret. Just kidding. It depends. Sometimes you are communicating only in virtual reality, sometimes by phone, sometimes just in real life and all these processes need long description and I wouldn’t like to tell everything here. If you want to know more just come to my trainings. More information is coming soon!

What partnership you are mostly proud of?

What a question. All of them! It is the same as to ask parents which of their kids they love the most. Of course there are some bigger companies who can help you more and there are some smaller who wants to work with you but they don’t have opportunities. You feel better when you raise bigger amount of support but I can’t exclude the only one.

How do you keep up your motivation?

It is hard to say. Sometimes I feel so demotivated and I think that I do not want to work for ESN anymore but I have found a way to change. When I feel demotivated I just call to one of my ESN colleagues for a talk or I just arrange a meeting with them. And after I see those different and interesting people from ESN I just don’t want to leave this team.

But for me the biggest motivation is getting experience and getting some benefit just for myself. You can be very good person and say that you are working for other people but in fact you are working just to fulfill your needs. And all of us are really selfish.

What have you learned from working in ESN?

A lot! I just don’t know where from I should start enumerating things I have learned here. I have improved my English skills, I can fluently talk in front of the audience, I know how to communicate with different people from different countries and so on and so forth.

When you come to ESN you have opportunities to learn anything you want. It just depends how much effort you put in it. Nobody can do your job for you and you have to do it on your own!

How do you see yourself after 5 years? With or without ESN?

I am living today not tomorrow. So I really can’t answer to you what I will be doing in 5 years. ESN it is just an investment into my future. I don’t know where I will be in 5 years and if there will be ESN in my life but I can say for sure that ESN made a huge impact to me and my future life and I won’t forget it.

Anything else you would like to share with the network?

Be confident, reach for more and believe in what you are doing.

By Audrė Chudinskaitė, proud member of PuRe Committee, [email protected]