UTEP Education, Week at Harvard Business School Prepare Engineering Student for Future
MATTHEW I. EUZARRAGA | October 11, 2017
Each year the Harvard Business School conducts the Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP). The SVMP is a one-week educational program open to college seniors throughout the United States. Aileen Tapia, a senior industrial and systems engineering major from The University of Texas at El Paso, was one of the 160 students selected to this year's SVMP.
SVMP participants experience the grueling life of a Harvard business student enrolled in a regular semester but take it on in a week. Participants spend their time analyzing real-world business cases. Tapia woke up early each morning while at Harvard and met with her classmates to discuss their respective cases. This helped them prepare how they would analyze their case during class. Those discussions allowed Tapia to hear diverse ideas and experience arguments that could not be found in textbooks. She said this method was a more effective way to learn new subjects and could lead to more innovative and collaborative solutions.
"I decided to apply to this program because I want to have my own engineering consulting firm in the future," Tapia said. "I wanted to learn more about how an MBA would enable me to accomplish this goal."
Tapia, born in El Paso and raised in Juarez, Mexico is no stranger to hard work. She graduated Top 10 percent from Coronado High School and is an active member of several UTEP student organizations: Women in Engineering, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Latinos in Science and Engineering, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Zeta Tau Alpha and Alpha Pi Mu.
With her work ethic and determination, she was able to analyze cases that include: finance, leadership, organizational behavior, marketing and financial reporting. These case studies are just a few examples of what first-year MBA students cover during a regular semester at Harvard. From analyzing Starbucks marketing strategy to exploring Chile's economy, all participants are challenged and taken out of their comfort zone.
"The SVMP gave me a different perspective to learning," Tapia explained. "I feel that with the education I received at UTEP and with what I have learned at the SVMP, my pre-professional experiences will enable me to succeed and excel in the work force."
During her time at UTEP, Tapia has interned with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Boeing Company, General Electric and Lockheed Martin corporations, and now Harvard. Tapia said she plans to spread awareness at UTEP about the endless networking and growth opportunities offered to minorities. She hopes to motivate others to find their true passion so they can become leaders, who will one-day potentially change the world.