Willamette student completes competitive Harvard program

This summer, Keith Fakhoury ’13 was chosen to attend Harvard Business School’s annual Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP) as one of 81 participants from across the United States.

SVMP is a one-week management training program for rising seniors, which is designed to increase diversity in business education and create awareness of the many options available to those who pursue an MBA degree. 

Program participants were employed in a summer internship, and they had to be nominated and sponsored by that company or organization. Participants were also selected based on academic achievement, demonstrated leadership and personal characteristics.

Fakhoury was nominated for the SVMP program by the Lockheed Martin Corp., a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide.

During his internship at Lockheed Martin, Fakhoury shadowed many senior-level executives and sat in on classified boardroom meetings — which he says provided him with a better understanding of how executives interact with each other and their team members.

Fakhoury, an economics major, says he valued the fast-paced discussions of the Summer Venture in Management Program, which were led by Harvard Business School faculty members.

“A challenging aspect of the program was deciding if your comment added value to the discussion, and if so, how did you go about articulating that,” Fakhoury says. “It was especially difficult when a discussion transitioned or evolved quickly.”

Though the classes were demanding, Fakhoury was able to analyze case studies from a variety of perspectives — a skill he attributes to his liberal arts education.

“Willamette has taught me to look beyond spreadsheets and face value when making decisions, especially with regards to human capital, environmental implications and camaraderie,” he says.

At Willamette, Fakhoury is a member of the Willamette Finance Board, INROADS and Kappa Sigma fraternity. He was awarded the national Kemper Scholarship in 2010, and he is an Oregon Ford Family Scholar.

This fall, Fakhoury plans to study abroad in Dubai, where he will focus on preparing for life after college.

“I'm excited to continue my Arabic learning, as well as pick up some courses on finance and investments,” Fakhoury says. “But it’s about much more than academics; I'm considering my trip to Dubai my first transatlantic business trip.”

For more information about national fellowship opportunities, visit Student Academic Grants and Awards.