Summer is the perfect time to explore your academic interests. As part of your college application, activities that help demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and exploration of an area of study (typically, the one(s) you might pursue in college) are extremely beneficial.
The following are some of our favorites for students interested in business. Ultimately, students need to choose what works best for them. Some need a program, while others need less structure!
LEAD, Multiple College Campuses
The Summer Business Institute (SBI) program is LEAD’s longest running Summer Institute and is considered the “flagship” program. The SBI program exposes scholars to business principles and the skill sets needed for successful business careers. The program challenges them through applied learning experiences often facilitated by college professors, links scholars to corporate executives in business fields and peers with similar aspirations and abilities. During LEAD SBIs, scholars reside and attend classes on-campus at a select number of the nation’s top business schools for three or four weeks. SBIs provide diverse, high-achieving rising high school seniors the opportunity to explore finance, entrepreneurship, accounting and marketing, among other business sectors.
Fordham University, NYC Business Insider
It takes just one week—five days behind the scenes of Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and Silicon Alley—to show you what a career in business looks like. Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business invites high school juniors and seniors to experience New York City as the commercial capital of the world. Network with new friends, and maybe even with your future college professors. Visit the boardrooms, showrooms, and stadiums where business gets done in New York.
Young Women’s Business Institute (Kelley)
The Young Women’s Institute (free!) introduces young women to the college experience and business career opportunities. Students are selected from around the country to spend a week at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. While at IU, students:
- Participate in workshops with top Kelley School of Business faculty
- Interact with Kelley alumni and current students
- Prepare a real-world business case project
- Build leadership and communication skills
- Connect with like-minded women interested in business
TCU Investor Challenge
Are you a high school student entering your senior year? Apply for the TCU High School Investor Challenge®. There are two High School Investor programs in 2022: June 5 – June 10 and June 19 – June 24. Completed applications and letters of recommendation must be received by April 6, 2022.
The McCombs Summer High School Programs
Free, six-day experiences focused on business and leadership that offer rising junior and senior high school students the chance to learn and interact with McCombs students, faculty, and corporate representatives. Outstanding African-American, Latino and Native American students, first-generation students, and students who have overcome social or economic hardship are strongly encouraged to apply. However, all students are welcome to apply.
Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS)
BOSS is a two-week in-person program held on Penn State’s University Park campus for high school students interested in pursuing a business education in college. It’s an opportunity for these students to take college prep and business fundamentals courses taught by Penn State faculty. Sample schedule of what the two weeks would be like.
The University of Pennsylvania, Wharton
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania hosts tons of paid programs and they are NOT posted here. Many of Penn’s past “selective” programs, like LBW, are now run by Summer Discovery and are not selective. We suggest these lower-cost and free options!
Wharton Global High School Investment Competition
Wharton Explore Business Mini-sites
Our Explore Business mini-sites are gateways to conversations, readings and activities that inspire high school students to think more deeply about issues affecting business and society. Dig into these Wharton-powered learning opportunities wherever and whenever you want to explore timely and compelling topics. Our mini-sites include:
Understanding Your Money is a self-paced online course for high school students. This course offers an introduction to fundamental economic concepts, investing, and basic money management to help you make smarter financial decisions. In addition to online video lessons delivered by Wharton faculty, the course includes links to related readings, activities and glossary terms, as well as quizzes to test students on what they have learned.
Non-“Program” Ideas We Love
Get a summer job!!! Wait tables, scoop ice cream, clean pools, landscape, construction, clean changeovers at hotels, grab a paper route — not glamorous, not always fun, but highly valuable.
Khan Academy Modules
Free Online Classes from Top Colleges & Universities
- Gain experience with prototype testing and feedback, give your opinions and perspectives on trends, be a part of potential focus groups, contribute to school outreach programs, and participate in brand ambassadorship opportunities. Learn more here.
Learn Bloomberg and Financial Modeling via Excel
Internships and Shadows
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