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Education and Academic Support / College Readiness and Retention

Harvard Business School — Summer Venture in Management

In 2016, the foundation renewed support for Summer Venture in Management (SVMP), a training program for rising college seniors designed to increase diversity and opportunity in business education. A program of Harvard Business School, it supports students who are typically underrepresented in the business school classroom so they can gain admission to top business schools and develop a broader understanding of the challenges business leaders face, the many dimensions of the business world, and the impact they can have on their community and the world through business leadership.

Criteria for admission include academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, and personal characteristics, with special consideration for students of color who are first-generation to college, whose families have little business education or experience, and/or who are from a school whose graduates are sometimes underrepresented, such as a community college or a predominately minority college. Participants live on campus, spending evenings analyzing real business cases and mornings in study groups and classes examining and debating their ideas with peers and faculty. The academic program is supplemented by presentations from Harvard Business School administrators and alumni who provide information about the impact of a business degree. Measures of success for this program are its effectiveness in helping these “nontraditional” students enroll in one of the nation’s top 20 business schools (as ranked by U.S. News and World Report). Longer-term measures of program success include highly competitive internships and employment and salary offers from top firms.