17 Jun 2008

Harvard Business School Celebrates 25 Years of Summer Venture in Management Program for Undergraduates

Innovative Program allows diverse group of high potential college students to experience life as a Harvard MBA student

Watch the SVMP 25th Anniversary Commemoration Video

BOSTON — Harvard Business School (HBS) will host 79 college students in a one-week management training program designed to increase diversity and opportunity in business education. For 25 years, the Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP) has provided rising college seniors with a unique educational experience that helps them develop a broad understanding of today's business environment, and encourages them to consider business school as an option after graduation. The program will be held on the School's campus in Boston on June 21-27.

"As we celebrate the silver anniversary of SVMP and the centennial anniversary of Harvard Business School, we recognize that the program has exposed nearly 1,700 outstanding undergraduate students to the rigors and benefits of a graduate business education and inspired many of them to expand their view of the professional opportunities available to them by virtue of having an MBA degree," said HBS Professor Benjamin Esty, faculty chair of the Summer Venture in Management Program. "The success of this program is also a direct result of the longstanding partnerships we have had with some of the nation's most successful corporations, and we thank them for their continued commitment to helping foster the development of future business leaders."

The program focuses on attracting high-achieving students who are from a family with little business education or experience; the first family member to attend college; or a member of a group that is currently underrepresented in business schools and corporate America such as African Americans; Hispanic Americans; Native Americans; and members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender community. Students hail from universities across the country including Howard University, Morehouse College, Ohio State University, Texas A&M;, University of California, University of Florida, University of Puerto Rico, and the United States Air Force Academy.

As one of the founders of the program, HBS professor of business administration emeritus James Cash, Jr., has seen hundreds of students gain a new perspective about pursuing business careers through the SVMP program. "We want talented young people to see the opportunities that can arise from attending business schools, instead of self-selecting out of a business career because of stereotypical assumptions about the type of person who belongs at HBS or any other business school," said Cash, who will deliver the keynote speech to this year's graduating SVMP class.

Students are nominated for the program by corporations where they have secured summer internships, and admission is based on academic achievement, demonstrated leadership and personal characteristics. Since its inception, the Summer Venture in Management Program has received significant support from many leading companies and organizations across the nation. This year, more than 60 companies and organizations will sponsor participants including Citigroup, Creative Artists Agency, Goldman Sachs & Co., Lehman Brothers, MTV Networks, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and Climate Conservancy. The sponsoring organizations agree to cover the participant's salary and assume the costs of transportation to and from the program, while HBS covers all educational expenses, including room and board.

"This was a truly mind-expanding experience that allowed me to reflect on my future, and the types of marks I would like to leave on the world," said Richard Norte, an alumnus of the 2006 SVMP program. "Any significant changes a person can make must always end with the will of groups; SVMP is where you learn to guide and help make those changes."

SVMP will be led by HBS faculty using the case study method of instruction and will include class discussions on current management issues in the fields of marketing, finance, organizational behavior, and service management. Through lively interaction with peers and faculty, students will explore the challenges facing today's business leaders, the many dimensions of the business world, and the impact they can have on their community and the world through business leadership. In addition, the program includes presentations by HBS administrators and alumni who share their personal stories about the impact of an MBA degree on their lives.

"The program provided a powerful learning experience. What I was learning in the classrooms through reading cases and applying my analytical mind, creativity, and entrepreneurial drive to actual business situations just resonated with me," said Sarah Curtis-Bey, an alumnus of the 1997 SVMP program and a 2006 HBS graduate. "SVMP motivated me to think about business school as part of where I wanted to be in the future and inspired me to look at a range of opportunities and then pick one that I thought would be most challenging for me."

For more information about the program please visit http://www.hbs.edu/mba/svmp.

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.