Aida Alvarez: Broadening Students' Opinions

Aida Alvarez '71 has already been a journalist, an entrepreneur and a politico. Now she is seeking yet another job, a seat on the Board of Overseers.

Alvarez, who was an English concentrator and a resident of Quincy House, is the administrator of the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) which gives Americans the technical and financial assistance they need to start businesses. Hers is the top leadership position of this government agency.

Her frequent career shifts are impetus behind her determination to make preparing undergraduates for the future her platform.

She notes that many students, like herself, will have several careers over their lifetime.

"[Graduates] need to be prepared for the real world and risk taking," Alvarez says. "Sometimes when they get out of the college they are not ready for the real world."

Alvarez says her experience at Harvard had a great influence--mostly positive--on her career path. She was a student during the political turmoil of the late 60s and early 70s.

"I was there at a very exciting time," says Alvarez. "It was a very intense time to be a student. In a way politics was very distracting."

Despite the distraction of the times, Alvarez says she got an incredible education while at Harvard which has been of great use to her in the years since graduation.