Our mission

The mission of the Summer Business Academy is to provide ambitious, business-oriented high school students with a basic knowledge of the entrepreneurial process. With access to world-class facilities and experienced professionals at Harvard University, students will gain unprecedented access into the collegiate entrepreneurial community. We hope to inspire passion for innovation alongside a team-oriented mentality, so as to best prepare the business leaders of the future. Simply put, we hope to make entrepreneurship increasingly accessible for those who want to make a change in the world around them.  


THE PROGRAM

A summer weeklong intensive designed to teach high school students the essentials of business and leadership and the pathway to entrepreneurship in the environment of a collegiate campus.

With a comprehensive curriculum concentrated in five days, SBA will give students the knowledge, guidance and resources they need to understand the workings of business as well as create a business of their own, building up to a business pitch competition at the end of the week.


THE CURRICULUM

Our curriculum, designed by Harvard students in the field of business, is geared to teach high school students the fundamentals of business, leadership and entrepreneurship as well as give exposure to college life. Topics covered include:

 
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Leadership Skills
  • Public Speaking and Presentation Skills
  • The Language of Business
  • Writing a Business Plan
  • Idea Generation
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies 
  • Resume-building
  • Business and College Interviews
  • Successful Team Work
  • College Admissions

THE COMPANY

Harvard Student Agencies, Inc. (HSA) is the largest student-run company in the world, employing more than 500 undergraduates annually. Founded in 1957, HSA is a multimillion dollar nonprofit that provides Harvard students with meaningful opportunities for employment and hands-on business education. Student managers lead all aspects of the operations and strategy behind HSA's 14 businesses, which range from publishing to tutoring to bartending, including Let's Go (the leader in student travel), HSA Cleaners (a laundry and dry-cleaning service), and The Harvard Shop (a storefront and web retail business). 

Harvard Student Agencies, Inc., is not a part of Harvard University - it is a separate student-run organization affiliated with Harvard University.


THE TEAM

Our team encompasses all aspects of business development and execution. Two Harvard undergraduate managers directly oversee all aspects of the SBA, and our panel of advisers includes executives at the Harvard Innovation Lab and corporate members of Harvard Student Agencies. We bring the right skill set to get the job done.

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Elizabeth Lively '21 - Summer business academy director

Elizabeth is a freshman in Matthews and is leaning towards a concentration in Social Studies. Originally from Needham, Massachusetts, Elizabeth went to Needham High School where she was part of the high school swim team and debate team. Here at Harvard, she is also part of the Harvard College Debating Union. When not in the office, studying, or debating, Elizabeth enjoys making the occasional visit home to bake cookies with her dad.

 

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DARA LI '20 - HSA Tutoring Managing Director

Born in Singapore and raised in Plano, TX, Dara is a sophomore living in Eliot House studying Molecular and Cellular Biology with a Music secondary. Her natural habitat is in the Tutoring pod of HSA, but you may also find her in the music building writing chamber music, Lamont B watching lecture videos at 2X speed, or bump into her on shift with CrimsonEMS. Although you might catch Dara saying she’s interested in the “intersection of art, engineering, and business,” she is actually passionate about spicy instant ramen noodles. In her free time, Dara enjoys arguing with Californians about the unquestionable superiority of Texas and forcing her uninterested coworkers to listen to her music.

Ali Dastjerdi '19 - HSA president

Ali is a junior living in Currier House studying Statistics and Economics. Outside of HSA, Ali spends his time on campus working with various groups at the Institute of Politics trying to put his passions for quantitative analysis and public policy to good use. A self proclaimed “foodie”, Ali likes to spend his free time watching Netflix documentaries about food, watching Food Network competitions, cooking up a storm, and of course eating his way through cuisines across the world.

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Rameen rana '20 -hsa Vice president

Hailing from Boston, Rameen is a sophomore in Quincy, concentrating in Cognitive Neuroscience under Psychology with a secondary in Economics. Outside of HSA, Rameen is involved with the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations, the Harvard South Asian Association, and the Harvard Pakistan Forum. In her spare time, she can be found playing volleyball, talking a mile a minute, watching reruns of The Office, and gulping down Pinkberry in record times.

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Brianna Harris '21 - summer coding academy director

Brianna is a freshman in Pennypacker planning a concentration in Sociology with a secondary in Economics. She is from Brooklyn, but attended school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Outside of the office, Brianna can be found eating at El Jefe's or studying in Cabot Library. In her free time, she likes to binge shows on Netflix or get a quick workout in at the MAC.

 

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GELILA WOLLE '21 - summer POLITICS academy director

Gelila is a freshman in Weld concentrating in Economics and hoping to get a secondary in Psychology. She grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where she spent most of her time doing MUN and teaching language to young children. Outside of HSA, Gelila is either pursuing her passion for feminism by doing programming and outreach for the Radcliffe Union of Students or watching a good K-drama.

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