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The success of the first flight gave impetus to those that followed

Rumours of Habakuk’s new course spread quickly and there was never a question about putting together a new group, despite the high price: The IB2 group filled up quickly.

Their instruction also took place at Suurupi, just like IB1 course participants; however, the practical training in Canada and the United States was a bit different. For example, the Canadian programme was financed by the Canadian Government.

In the United States, Riho Martinson, Deputy Mayor of Foster City, had assumed the burden of managing practical training. Practical training in 1990 took place under the guidance of Marshall Fitzgerald. This meant that the group was divided into two: Martinson led the southern group, south of San Francisco, in Foster City, with the northern group located in Hillsburg and led by Marshal Fitzgerald. Peggy Morin, who was the director of a small consulting company, was responsible for bringing the teaching to life in the northern group, and also put together the first month-long intensive programme for IB1.

At the same time, Habakuk was successful in concluding a five-year agreement with the University of San Francisco, during which a rather voluminous and successful exchange programme took place in 1991 and 1992. The McLaren School of Business at the University of San Francisco organised a three-week study programme for EBS students. Riho Martinson and Marshall Fitzgerald organised many company visits and acquired several jobs in companies. In turn, EBS hosted a relatively large group of Master’s students from the McLaren School of Business at the University of San Francisco, and organised a programme for them in Tallinn, as well as St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Thus, in comparison with the first course, which went to California in 1989 and had to endure a number of hardships, things were much better for subsequent courses. Even so, course participants that had travelled across the pond from Estonia to study, continued to work in order to earn money. For example, Meelis Virkebau, Director of Production and Sales at Tarbeklaas, spent his evenings printing pictures onto T-shirts and found employment in road construction and construction work. Guido Sammelselg, who was an assistant to the director of the Kuusalu kolkhoz, worked construction in Canada and also mowed the lawns of foreign Estonians.

Balkan country of Estonia

Practical training organised in the United States and Canada during the early days of EBS is made even more impressive by the fact that nobody really knew about Estonia at the time, and job opportunities were acquired more often than not on the basis of personal contacts. Even so, they were able to send all students to practical training abroad. They were helped in their efforts by local non-profit organisations. For example, the following letter was sent by the Rotary Club to EBS:

“A World Community Service project by the Rotary Club of San Jose to share business expertise with young business executives from the Balkan country of Estonia for the period of July 1 to August 31, 1991”.

Source: Jaak Roosaare, “A Look Back at the Early Years of the University”, Student Paper, February 2001.