Alumni at the Clinton Global Initiative

SVMP 2008 alumni Rachel Brooks, Roseliny Genao and Nicolette Omoile were selected to attend the Clinton Global Initiative Conference in Austin, Texas from February 13—15, 2009. They were selected based on the quality and vision of their commitments to action within their local communities and the world, targeting major issues within the realms of healthcare, education and poverty. The weekend-long conference featured talks from former president Bill Clinton and working sessions aimed at developing the commitments of the participants, and culminated with a service project at Rosewood Park in East Austin.


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Alumni Voices – Spring 2009

Alfredo Urquidi ‘02

After finishing my undergraduate degree in economics at New York University, I went to work as an Analyst in the Global Structuring / Transfer Pricing practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers in NYC. Eventually, I ended up in the Transfer Pricing practice of Ernst & Young as a Senior Analyst, where I was a core member of their Financial Services Transfer Pricing offering. Currently, I work as the in-house Manager of Global Transfer Pricing for Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., a professional services firm. Along the way, I decided that an MBA is definitely the degree to have in the 21st century, but it wasn’t the degree for me. I took some graduate courses at night at NYU and found that the public policy ones appealed to me the most, so I enrolled in and completed my Masters in Government Administration at the University of Pennsylvania via their weekend executive program. SVMP was definitely a catalyst for me – it helped me see the value of an education from a premier institution, and to appreciate that there are others in the workplace who face the same issues that I do. It also helped instill in me a desire for continued learning, and currently I am taking some evening refresher courses in accounting at NYU. I reside in Brooklyn, NY.


Athena Mak ‘06

Since SVMP 2006, I’ve received my M.S. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University, spent a year in management consulting at the Monitor Group, and recently moved to Lucknow, India, to join Digital StudyHall, an educationally focused social entrepreneurship.* Without a doubt, transitioning from the structure inherent in management consulting to the chaos associated with start-up life (in India, nonetheless!) has been an incredible experience thus far. In the nascent stages of my one to two year stay in Lucknow, I’m currently getting involved in many different aspects of the organization, with the goal of identifying a project I can run and manage in the longer term. As one of the few members of the team with a background in business, I’ve frequently noted opportunities for DSH to benefit from common business practices, and am doing my best to help push the organization forward. DSH is fighting a tough battle. The educational system in Lucknow leaves much to be desired, and the lack of attention given to schools is frequently frustrating. Take, for instance, the school that was shut down for a day because the principal’s daughter was getting married. Or the teachers who could not teach their classes because the government pulled them out for election duty. However, in spite of the numerous challenges we face in this field, I am constantly inspired by the phenomenal people around me, knowing that we’re all working together toward a common vision of quality education for all. I’d love to hear about you and your experiences, especially if you have thoughts around India and / or the education space.


Christofer Garner ‘07

I am currently in the Management Services Program at JPMorgan, a two-year program that allows me to cross different lines of business. The length of the rotations vary. My first one was in Treasury and Security Services Sales Strategy and my current one is Investment Bank Training. In April, I move to Credit Markets Risk Management, also in the investment banks. It’s been great so far—I get to build a wide network and a broad skill set. I live in New York City.


Maritza R. Alarcon ‘07

Maritza R. Alarcon was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and is of Bolivian/Salvadoran decent. She is a recent alum of Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business– City University of New York (BBA ’08) with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. Owing to her internships at The New York Times, NASCAR, the Brooklyn Cyclones (Single “A” Class Affiliate of the NY Mets) and at the Office of the Commissioner for Major League Baseball, she well aligned her postcollege career to fit closely with her passion and experience. She recently completed the 2008 Boston Red Sox Fellowship Program at Fenway Park and is currently a participant of the Trainee Program within the Marketing Department of the Atlanta Braves. As a result of her extensive experience working with youth and participation in INROADS and Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Career Prep program (’07), she brings a critical eye and a strong professional network to make recommendations for a non-profit she co-founded with her peers – M.O.V.E.- a college prep mentoring program in New York City.


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We Are Now Incorporated!

We are proud to announce that the Alumni Association is now an incorporated organization with 501(c)(3) status. Incorporating is invaluable for any organization, but what are the implications for the SVMP AA and what does this mean for you?


With its newfound status, the SVMP AA has an official mailing address and bank account through which it can receive charitable contributions and effectively manage sponsorships. We are now in a better position strategically to achieve our mission as an organization—that is, to encourage and promote the empowerment of SVMP alumni through relationship development, information sharing, and social activities.


Above all, our nonprofit status emphasizes our accountability to you—our ever-expanding alumni base—as well as our partners at the Harvard Business School and throughout the world.


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SVMP Celebrates 25th Anniversary

SVMP turned 25 in the summer of 2008—marking a quarter of a century of excellence. Coincidentally, there was another big celebration on campus: the 100th anniversary of the Harvard Business School.


Reaching these milestones is another testament to the rich history of the Harvard brand, and their commitment and dedication to developing bright minds into future leaders and agents of change. To date, over 1,600 students have engaged in the Summer Venture in Management Program. Each class has gone on to pursue their respective dreams, with a stronger sense of self after completing the week-long journey. Hundreds have gone on to pursue their business degrees at HBS, and with that the legacy of SVMP lives on.


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Inauguration Special 2009

Kurt Rommel ‘08

The United States Air Force Academy sent ninety Academy Cadets, including alum Kurt Rommel ‘08, to the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. They were part of the one thousand Air Force Personnel that marched in front of President Barack Obama and Air Force Chief of Staff Norton A. Schwartz. Prior to marching in the Inaugural Parade, the Air Force Cadets had the opportunity to see the U.S. Capitol Building, the National Mall, the Pentagon, and the Air Force Memorial. During their visit, the Cadets stayed with Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy. All the participants truly appreciated being part of this historic national celebration!


George Bahamondes ‘07

After being inspired by President Obama’s victory last November while abroad in Chile, George Bahamondes ’07 decided to put his personal life on hold and work for no pay in order to help turn local, state and national politics on its head. Since January 6th, 2009, Bahamondes has been working seven days a week for a historic, grassroots, Congressional campaign in East Los Angeles, California.


Hilda Solis’ appointment to Obama’s cabinet ignited a local movement to elect former Obama Treasury Department Transition Team member, Emanuel Pleitez, to her vacant seat. George currently serves as the Pleitez campaign’s Deputy Finance Director.


“I was tired of seeing ‘experienced’ politicians from Sacramento who have proven to be incapable of solving our fiscal and social issues as our only options on the ballot. I met Pleitez as an SEO intern and knew his story all too well. We need more folks from single parent, immigrant households who have had the opportunity to navigate arenas on Wall Street and Capitol Hill to represent our communities. We understand all sides of the issue first-hand and can build understanding between two very distant communities. What better time to change the rules of endorsement-based, special interest funded politics than now?”


If elected May 19th, Pleitez will be the youngest Latino ever to serve in US Congress. For more information about Bahamondes’ effort, visit


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A Relic of His Own – Bryon Shannon SVMP ’08

Bryon Shannon ’08 has been busy outfitting young “pioneers” on his campus at the University of Wisconsin. This spring, he launched an apparel company called Wisconsin Relic, a line that focuses on offering high quality shirts and pullovers with vintage Midwest designs.


The items are available on http://wiscrelic.comwhere the brand pairs up with “Young Pioneers of the Midwest” by profiling young Midwesterners who are building a positive culture in their communities, complete with online pictures, music, videos and background in formation on the pioneers.


“It’s a great experience teaming up with artists, social journalists and other young people who are proving that we can make a difference by pursuing our passions,” Shannon ’08 says.


However, Shannon has realized that running a small clothing start-up is more than photo shoots and drawing boards. “Taking classes in entrepreneurship, meeting other young business owners, comparing case studies at SVMP to my own challenges; it all plays a part in getting through the technical side of keeping a business feasible,” he adds.


With additional support through university sponsorship of business incubator office space, Bryon plans on extending the messages of trendy styles and youth initiatives from his online website to boutique stores and universities across Wisconsin. Shannon states, “After meeting young leaders from all across the nation over the past summers, it is neat to create a brand that tells youth in Wisconsin that they can be trendy and build a positive culture all at the same time.”


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Alumni Spotlight – Steven Kennington II SVMP ’08

One of the fundamental tenets of the SVMP experience is the emphasis of our roles as leaders in society. In the following piece, Steven Kennington II ‘08 reflects upon an unparalleled service learning experience in Central America.


Although Panama is one of South America’s fastest growing economies, poverty rates have been slow to decline due to unequal access to market opportunities. Those cut off from the market economy – unskilled laborers, subsistence farmers, and the informal sector – have not benefited from Panama’s economic growth. As a result, Panamanian villagers have created very small businesses, or microenterprises, in hopes of escaping the current cycle of poverty in Panama.


Unfortunately, without seed capital and technical assistance, many of these micro-enterprises barely produce enough money to make a difference or feed one’s family. This is where I helped lead a group of dedicated students on a “Business Brigade” to help low-income villagers in Panama create economic opportunities using the natural talents, assets, and inspiration of the community.


On the “brigade”, we worked hand-in-hand with business professionals and community leaders of El Valle, a small town with a population of thirty people, to help develop and expand their ornamental plant business. The residents of El Valle cultivate some of the most beautiful plants and flowers in Central America, and so we created a business model that would bring these natural wonders to the thriving economy of Panama City.


The business model called for a monthly pick up from El Valle to an art gallery located in Panama City, where the products would be sold. We also created the business model for the art gallery, to be run by a non-profit organization. The impact brought to this community was immense.


Currently, the average per capita income per household in El Valle is $300, but with our team’s development of the business, the families of the small village have the potential to double or triple their annual income.


Our team personally visited every family and explained the importance of savings, as the concept is not well known in this small community. In the same token, we listened to their plans for spending. One particular family was interested in having their children obtain a higher education (past the sixth-grade equivalent). One woman even expressed a desire to change her family’s diet, which includes only rice and some vegetables grown in their garden.


Many of these families had relatives in Panama City whom they had not seen in over a decade; needless tosay, they expressed a desire to visit them.


Like the famous proverb says: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Through our participation in Global Business Brigades, my team and I brought the skills, assistance, and commitment needed to teach Panamanian micro-business owners “how to fish,” thereby creating opportunities for sustainable economic development.


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Mentors on the M.O.V.E.

Baruch College graduates Maritza Alarcon ‘07, Christofer Garner ‘07, and Darren Smith ‘06 were among a team of young entrepreneurs that launched Motivation Opportunity Viability Enterprise Inc, otherwise known as MOVE Inc.


M.O.V.E. is helping inner city high school students who have the potential but need the extra impulse to brighten up their future and create opportunity for themselves.


A team that includes several SVMP alumni founded M.O.V.E. Inc., a not-for-profit organization with the goal of improving college matriculation rates at low performing New York City public high schools which have one of the three lowest graduation rates in the country. From the select few students who actually do graduate, only 32% are even college ready.


The M.O.V.E. Program aims to address these issues through a mentoring curriculum guiding students from 10th grade through acceptance into a fouryear university.


M.O.V.E. mentors are successful and altruistic recent college graduates residing in the NYC metropolitan area. Their mentees (10-12th grade) are from Martin Luther King High School (by Lincoln Square).


Currently, M.O.V.E. Inc. is looking to broaden its organization base through the SVMP network. They welcome all SVMP alumni to get involved, especially alumni in philanthropy or who have funding experience to provide feedback about the program.


For recent alumni, they are currently recruiting mentors and monthly volunteers for our Saturday events beginning this upcoming fall. The M.O.V.E. team is extremely excited about the prospects of this program.


“We are in a unique position of privilege where we have the opportunity to make a difference. We truly believe that united, we can bring about the change that our younger brothers and sisters so urgently need.”

– M.O.V.E. Executive Board


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