Summer Venture in Management Program at Harvard Business School by Abisola Oladigbo

Imagine the opportunity to experience a trial run as an MBA student, while still an undergraduate. Turns out students like yourself have the possibility of getting that chance. Harvard Business School (HBS) offers a program called Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP), where rising seniors from diverse backgrounds, have the opportunity to spend a week at Harvard Business School and experience life as an MBA student on campus. UIC Business Student, Abisola Oladigbo, was fortunate enough to participate in this program and is a member of the SVMP Class of 2019. 

I heard about SVMP by researching programs that students could be involved in outside of their current classes and campus. I stumbled on a list of different opportunities such as leadership conferences sponsored by corporations. The Summer Venture in Management Program by Harvard Business School caught my eye. After doing more research, I decided to take a chance and apply. The requirements for the program include being a rising senior, have a summer internship lined up by the time you apply, and you have to be authorized by your internship company to attend SVMP.

During SVMP, I had the chance to meet great individuals from across the country, learn from HBS Faculty and experience life as an HBS student. During the day, we had classes that were based on case studies, where everyone had the opportunity to contribute and add value to the conversation. My favorite case was about Kurt Summers who was the former treasurer of the City of Chicago. For the case, we discussed about whether Kurt Summers should have reached out to Mayor Rahm Emanuel about a class action. What made it even more exciting was that Kurt Summers and his wife, Helen, were in the classroom with us, while we shared our ideas. Moments like this reminded me of how grateful I am that I took a chance and applied for this experience. As the day came to an end, we had a chance to network and build relationships with each other. As the Class of 2019, we all still keep in touch and support each other as we grow in our personal and professional lives. 

Before SVMP, I was undecided about earning an MBA, but now, it is definitely something I see myself pursuing in the future. SVMP pushed me to step out of my comfort zone, improve on my critical thinking skills while expanding my networking skills. When I applied to this program, I honestly thought I would not get in, but with support from colleagues and mentors, gratefully I did. My advice is to current juniors (and Fall 2020 graduates) to apply to this program, because you never know what the outcome might be. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one should grab it right away. Applications open in February and they are due April 21. More information can be found here: https://www.hbs.edu/svmp/Pages/default.aspx

I am happy to answer any questions anyone may have. The best way to contact me is through email: aoladi3@uic.edu