Finding Purpose in Data, Social Entrepreneurship, and Jazz

Guest Blog

Lillay Gebru, Miller Center Marketing and Communications Intern

At the end of winter quarter, Miller Center bids farewell to Marc Bitar, a highly decorated senior majoring in Management Information Systems (MIS) and Business Analytics in the Leavey School of Business and a future trailblazer in the business-technology sector. As a sophomore in the business school, I had the privilege of interviewing Marc just weeks before his graduation, picking up the many crumbs of wisdom and guidance he graciously shared.

Upon arrival at Santa Clara University alongside his twin brother, Georges, Marc initially set his sights on becoming a Finance major. Driven by unwavering curiosity, Marc transitioned through three different majors, briefly exploring various business focuses before finding his true calling in MIS and Business Analytics. This shift was an immediate, natural fit, complimenting Marc’s inherent love for technology, fostered by his Silicon Valley upbringing. I found reassurance in the idea that sometimes, like Marc, the third time might indeed be the charm when it comes to discovering one’s passion. This paves the way for my own journey toward impactful success, inspired by his trailblazing example and sharing his fervent love for knowledge and discovery.

“I’m a first-generation American,” said Bitar. “In Lebanon, my mother studied French law, but she couldn’t practice it in the U.S. due to her lack of knowledge of American law. Instead, she chose to teach at Liberty High School, helping individuals facing hardships find opportunities for success. My dad, a computer engineer turned project manager, instilled in me a love for technology.” Marc continued, “My passion for business and service independently emerged. Giving people the tools for financial security and literacy can be key to their success. Coming from a family that experienced struggles growing up, I know how lucky I am to have received this education and these opportunities, and I want to share my skills to help others succeed.”

Starting off his university journey amidst the pandemic, Marc encountered a unique challenge, with a significant chunk of his college experience unfolding behind a screen. As restrictions eased and the Santa Clara community began to rebuild itself, Marc seized the opportunity to engage fully by attending class in person. Eager to make up for lost time, Marc immersed himself in the Jazz Club, Miller Center, and the Information Analytics Network (ISN), leaving an indelible mark on the university and his surrounding community.

During the fall of his junior year, Marc spent a semester studying abroad in London, developing a newfound love, potentially leading him to live and work abroad in the future. “It was the highlight of my university experience,” Marc happily expressed. “I learned as much, if not more, in the semester abroad than I had picked up in technical skills in American schooling.”

Marc’s involvement with Miller Center began his sophomore year, participating in our Impact Measurement and Management training program and increasing his Salesforce and Sopact training, taking a slight pause while studying abroad. As an Impact Data Visualization Intern, Marc became fully immersed with Sopact, an online platform to help visualize data and improve internal operations. It was through Sopact’s collaboration and Miller Center’s alumni network that Marc first connected with enterprises in Vietnam, Pakistan, and India. This year, he worked directly with other social entrepreneurs to create dashboards for their numerical data, helping the entrepreneurs present their impact in ways that are easy to understand. The skills Marc developed equipped him with a strong foundation for success in his Risk & Financial Advisory Internship with Deloitte, and will continue to grow in his future success.

Marc Bitar was one of the few interns with a technical role at Miller Center, working primarily alongside Xiaoye Jin and Kevin Kraver, our Coordinator of Learning & Efficiency and Senior Director of Network Partners & Systems Architecture, respectively. Andy Lieberman, Senior Director of Programs, also worked closely with Marc and greatly appreciates his contributions. Andy stated, “Marc strengthened his skills in SQL database management and Tableau data visualization as he delivered real value to social enterprises and the Miller Center team. Most importantly, he came to us with exemplary customer service skills and a sincere desire to learn and contribute to Miller Center’s mission.”

Nearing the end of our interview, I asked Marc Bitar what moment with Miller Center gave him a profound sense of purpose. He reminisced about his experience working with Fargreen, a social enterprise based in Vietnam focused on reducing carbon emissions that are emitted when rice straws are burned after use.

“Fargreen’s mission deeply resonates with me. Instead of allowing rice straws to burn and emit harmful carbon emissions, they ingeniously repurpose them as a substrate for growing mushrooms, offering a sustainable solution that not only reduces environmental impact but also supports local businesses and promotes healthier food options. Being a part of this transformative initiative was truly rewarding, as this enterprise strives to uplift both the economy and its people, rather than being a source of detriment to either.” —Marc Bitar

As a first-generation immigrant myself, I found inspiration in speaking with Marc, who has transformed struggle into passion through hard work. In a business world often solely focused on profit, Marc’s dedication to music, family, friends, travel, and continuous learning elevates his approach to business and technology beyond mere financial gain. The familial feeling Miller Center’s work environment provides, characterized by mutual respect, mirrors the values Marc embodies. This environment, witnessed during my own internship and emphasized in my interview with Marc, illuminated a profound ethos that transcends profit-driven motives.

“At work, there are skill sets like accounting, for instance, that are pivotal for every business. Everyone needs an accountant, and everyone needs a software engineer to code something, but I think the thing that differentiates it is the people you work with. You could be doing the task anywhere, but if you don’t feel the community and support from it, you’re not going to be as driven. I want to work with people who feel like friends and family, and I honestly felt that at Miller Center. At the end of the day, I don’t want to work simply for a paycheck, but for time spent with amazing people.” —Marc Bitar

With Marc’s graduation at the end of winter quarter, Miller Center is more than grateful to have been a part of his journey at Santa Clara. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors and are excited to see what his future has in store for him.



  • Marc Bitar, SCU ’24
  • Marc (right) with his twin brother, Georges, visiting Amsterdam during his semester abroad
  • Playing tenor saxophone with the Santa Clara University Jazz Ensemble
  1. With other Miller Center interns