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15 Summer Business Programs for High School Students

What’s Covered:


Do you dream of entering the world of business? Perhaps you’re a budding entrepreneur. Maybe you have a creative edge and think marketing could be the path for you. Or you’re a problem-solver and are wondering if consulting is the right role.

Business is a lucrative industry full of opportunities for talented professionals. And you don’t have to wait to earn your MBA to start working toward your goals. There are plenty of ways to get a taste of the industry — and get a head start on your future career. 


15 Summer Business Programs for High School Students


1. Babson Summer Study for High School Students


One of the top colleges for entrepreneurship and business is also home to a summer program for high school students, where you’ll develop critical skills for succeeding in your future career. Not only will you learn from real Babson faculty, receive mentorship, and hear from innovative leaders, but you’ll also have the opportunity to earn four college credits.


2. Berkeley Business Academy for Youth


Nicknamed B-BAY, this business program welcomes 50 high school students from around the world each year, where they develop a business idea and execute a plan with a team over the course of two weeks. Students will also get a taste of life at Berkeley, conduct independent research, and gain important skills.


3. Business Is Global: Summer Language Program, Indiana University


Presented by the Indiana University Center for International Business Education and Research, Business Is Global immerses students in a wide variety of cultures and languages from around the world — important for careers in international business — while learning about the intersection of these topics and business. 


4. Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS)


During this one-week virtual program, high school students (rising seniors only) who have a strong interest in pursuing a career in business will take college prep and business fundamentals courses taught by Penn State faculty. The program is hoping to be back on-campus for summer 2022. The program costs just $50 to attend. 


5. Caminos al Futuro


Offered by the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute at George Washington University, Caminos al Futuro is a 3-week intensive program for talented students who have demonstrated a commitment to service and leadership within the Hispanic/Latino community. It is a fully-funded (i.e. free) opportunity to hear from leaders in various fields and bring their own projects to life.


6. Camp BizSmart


While at Stanford University, students experiment with the latest tools and practices in the business world, working with leaders and founders. There is a two-week camp for people ages 11-15 and a six-day workshop for people ages 16-19, and each student learns the fundamentals of business while developing practical skills and creating real product designs and solutions.


7. Camp Business


Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business offers a daytime summer program for rising high school juniors and seniors, where students receive an introduction to college life and experience business education. From finance to leadership to professional image, topics are wide-ranging. Participants receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program.


8. Economics for Leaders


Economics plays an enormous role in the world of business, and EFL underscores this, equipping students with the skills to be effective leaders and the knowledge of economic analysis that’s necessary for the decision-making process in an interactive environment. The program is open to current sophomores and juniors.


9. Entrepreneurship Academy


During the two-week Entrepreneurship Academy, students get an in-depth look at facets of entrepreneurship like choosing a start-up, prototype testing, market research, social innovation, global business, and the operations of running your own business. Participants will interact with real entrepreneurs and combine theory and practices, helping them build the skills needed to succeed as a leader.


10. Exploring Entrepreneurship, Fordham University


One of several summer programs offered by Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business, Exploring Entrepreneurship brings high school juniors and seniors together to learn about entrepreneurship. Participants will work with peers to develop a business idea and pitch it to a panel of startup experts. They will also experience real startup environments and learn more about launching a business.


11. Finance Institute: Wall Street in the Classroom, Fordham University


Over the course of two weeks, students who are curious about finance and business learn finance fundamentals, interact with top New York City executives, and learn about topics like economics, investing, ethics, risk management, and more. Finance Institute is offered by Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business.


12. Leangap


Ambitious high schoolers can make their dreams a reality by engaging in Leangap. Students learn how to launch startups by gaining skills entrepreneurs need, developing their ideas from concept to launch, testing their concepts with real users, and more, all while working alongside young entrepreneurs.


13. Summer @ Stern High School Program


NYU Stern School of Business is a long-established leader in business education, and now high schoolers can learn from its acclaimed faculty. Exploring accounting, finance, economics, marketing, psychology, and other business topics, students will take part in two courses: Business and Investments and Behavioral Economics and the Science of Decision Making. These courses will help lay a foundation for future business education and practice.


NB: Applications must first be accepted to NYU Precollege before completing a separate application for Summer @ Stern.


14. Wharton Global Youth Program


Wharton, too, is one of the most recognizable names in business schools, and this program inspires young people to explore the world of business, learn how to solve complex global challenges, and become leaders. Students learn from real Wharton instructors and engage with peers from all over the world. There are both for-credit and non-credit options available.


15. Young Women’s Leadership Institute


Barnard College is home to YWLI, which seeks to embrace the relationship between gender and leadership. Female-identifying students will explore leadership through a feminist lens, while tackling real-world problems, working in small groups to design and execute solutions using skills they’ve developed in courses and workshops. They will also meet with women in workplaces around New York to learn about how they got to where they are today.


How Impressive Are Summer Programs?


Colleges look beyond excellent grades and test scores when evaluating applicants. At the most selective schools, extracurriculars generally play a huge role in determining which students will make the cut.


Summer programs are variable in terms of impressiveness. Typically, the more selective a program is, the better it will look on your application. Moreover, programs that are free will be more like to give you an edge than those that are costly.


To find out how business programs and other aspects of your profile affect your chances of admission at top colleges, check out CollegeVine’s chancing engine. This free tool will also give you tips on how to improve your profile!

Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.