15 Summer Programs Tailored for Business-Minded Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Mature businessman communicfating with young workers while walking through distribution warehouse.

15 Summer Programs Tailored for Business-Minded Students

Summer programs offer a unique opportunity for high school students to explore their interests, develop new skills, and get a taste of college life during their school break. These programs help students learn more about what they’re interested in and can guide them toward their future careers. For business-minded students, summer programs tailored for business and entrepreneurship are a perfect way to spend the summer. They teach important business skills, allow students to meet others with similar interests, and give them a peek into what working in business is like.

For a student with a keen interest in business, these summer programs tailored for the business-minded are invaluable. They offer a chance to learn more about how businesses work and to start building a network of friends and contacts in the business world. These programs include a mix of lessons, group projects, and activities that introduce students to the basics of business. This experience can help students decide if they want to pursue a career in business later on. In this blog post, we will look at the best summer programs in the country, offering courses in business and entrepreneurship.

1. Athena Summer Innovation Institute at Barnard College

  • Location: Barnard College, New York, New York
  • Cost: $9,687 (residential); $7,772 (commuter)
  • Program Dates: July 22, 2024 – August 10, 2024
  • Application Deadline: April 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students.

The Athena Summer Innovation Institute is a 3-week course for high school students interested in starting their own business or project. It teaches important skills like how to come up with new ideas, work in a team, and present those ideas to others. Students don’t need to have a business idea beforehand; they need to be excited about learning and working with others to make something new that can change things for the better.

Female students talking outdoors on the sidewalk

During the program, students learn about creating products, understanding customers, making a brand, and managing money, among other things. They work on a big project in groups and, in the end, show their ideas through a presentation. They get advice from experienced mentors and practice speaking in front of people. There are also trips to see how real startups and businesses keep coming up with new ideas. This helps students feel more confident and ready to be leaders and entrepreneurs who can make a difference.

2. Music Business Program at Berklee

  • Location: Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA
  • Cost: $1,295 ( $50 registration fee)
  • Program Dates: June 24 – June 28, 2024
  • Application Deadline: May 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students aged 15 to 20. ​​​​​​

Berklee’s Music Business Summer Program is a short, five-day course that teaches high school students about the music industry. Students learn from experienced people about how to help musicians become successful, covering topics like music rights, making money in music, building an artist’s brand, and using social media effectively. They get to apply what they’ve learned by helping real artists plan their music releases and then present their plans to music professionals for feedback.

The program helps students understand the basics of the music business, including how artists earn money and how to attract fans online, especially on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. By the end of the course, students will be able to come up with a basic plan to market music, giving them a good start in the music industry.

3. Columbia University Introduction To Business, Finance, and Economics

  • Location: Columbia University, New York City, New York.
  • Cost: Residential: $12,449; Commuter: $6,300; Online: $3,960
  • Program Dates: In person: June 24- July 12, 2024 (Session 1), July 16- August 02, 2024 (Session 2); Online: July 01-July 12, 2024 (Session 1), July 15- July 26, 2024 (Session 2)
  • Application Deadline: Residential: March 4, 2024; Commuter/ Online: April 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: Rising junior or senior high school students. 

Columbia University’s Introduction to Business, Finance, and Economics program is designed for high school students to learn about business finances and investments. It covers how companies decide on the best places to put their money, how they find the funds for these investments, and how the stock market and other financial markets help in this process. Students will explore various financial tools like stocks and bonds and learn how to evaluate the value of investments and companies. They will also learn about the risks involved in financial decisions and how to read and understand financial statements to see what a company is really doing with its money.

By participating in discussions, working on case studies, and doing their own projects, students will get a practical understanding of how the financial world operates. They will learn about the strategies businesses use to grow their money, how to analyze financial information to make smart investment choices and get an insight into the history and mechanics behind financial markets. This course aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the financial aspects of the business world.

4. Economics for Leaders (EFL)

  • Location: Various universities and colleges across the USA.
  • Cost: $2,300 (residential); $800 (virtual); ( $35 application fee) 
  • Program Dates: June to early August 2024
  • Application Deadline: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: Current sophomores and juniors in high school. 

The Economics for Leaders (EFL) program is a unique course for high school students in 10th and 11th grade, offered at top universities in the U.S. It teaches students about economics and leadership, showing them how to use economic ideas to make better decisions in business and government. This program is competitive and helps students become smarter leaders by applying what they learn to real-world problems.

Two girls and a guy are talking in sign language

Besides learning about economics and leadership, students in the EFL program can also earn college credits from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, for an extra fee. This credit is an elective and won’t count toward an economics major, but it’s a great way for students to get college credit while still in high school. This part of the summer program adds value by giving business-minded students a head start in college and tailoring their understanding of business and economics. 

5. Leadership in the Business World (LBW)

  • Location: Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
  • Cost: $10,999 ($100 application fee)
  • Program Dates: June 9 – June 29, 2024; June 30 – July 20, 2024; July 21 – August 10, 2024
  • Application Deadline: April 3, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students currently enrolled in grade 11. 

Leadership in the Business World (LBW) at Wharton School is a special summer program for high school students about to enter their senior year. It teaches them about business and how to be good leaders through teamwork and communication lessons. The program includes lectures from Wharton professors and business experts, along with practical activities like simulations of real business situations.

LBW covers important topics such as how companies plan their strategies, how to lead effectively, how to negotiate, and the importance of focusing on customers. This gives students a broad view of the business world and prepares them for future roles as business leaders by enhancing their understanding and skills in these areas.

6. Business Academy at Georgetown

  • Location: Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
  • Cost: $7,299 (residential); $5,499 (commuter)
  • Program Dates: July 14–August 2, 2024
  • Application Deadline: May 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Rising high school freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior. 

Georgetown’s Business Academy offers two main programs for high school students to learn about business: Business & Leadership and Global Business. In the Business & Leadership program, students explore basic business ideas like how to make decisions, understand finance, and lead a team. They get to do this through classes, workshops, and practical activities like running a simulated company. The Global Business program teaches students about how business works around the world, including the challenges of operating in different countries and how technology affects global trade. Students learn through lectures and looking at real-life business cases, focusing on how to compete and succeed internationally.

Both programs help students develop important skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, which are useful for college and future jobs. They provide hands-on experience through simulations and presentations, giving students a clear idea of what to expect in the business world. Whether interested in starting their own business or understanding global markets, these programs prepare students for a successful path in business studies and careers.

7. Babson Summer Study: Introduction to the Entrepreneurial Experience

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: $6295 ( $95 application fee)
  • Program Dates: July 8– July 29, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 5, 2024
  • Eligibility: Rising high school juniors and seniors. 

Babson Summer Study is an online program designed for high school students in 11th and 12th grade who want to learn about starting their own businesses and making a difference in the world. In this three-week course, students focus on solving big problems related to the United Nations Global Goals, like environmental issues and social inequality. They learn important business skills such as how to come up with ideas, work well in teams, and understand the basics of marketing and finance. By the end of the program, students earn 4 college credits and develop skills to help them lead and communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds.

Besides learning from coursework, students at Babson Summer Study get to meet and talk with real entrepreneurs and business leaders from around the world, gaining inspiration and practical advice. They also work with mentors who are current Babson college students, gaining insights and support for their projects. This program is more than just classes; it’s a chance to join a global community of young innovators and learn from some of the best teachers and entrepreneurs out there. It prepares students to think like entrepreneurs, ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the future. 

8. The Global Summer Learning Institute Experience (GSLI)

  • Location: Various partner schools ( Northwestern University, University of Pittsburgh, St. Francis College). 
  • Cost: $3500 ($50 application fee) 
  • Program Dates: June 24 – 28, 2024 (virtual); July 7 – July 20, 2024 (residential)
  • Application Deadline: April 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: Current high school juniors. 

The LEADing for Life Global Summer Learning Institute (GSLI) is a special summer program for high school juniors that blends learning about business with getting a taste of college life. It lasts three weeks and mixes online learning with time spent on a college campus. Students get to dive into important topics like leadership, starting a business, and technology, which are all key for today’s jobs. They’ll do hands-on projects, visit companies to see how they work, meet business leaders, and even pitch their own business ideas in a competition to win money to help start their ventures.

Besides learning about business, the program also helps students grow personally and understand more about social issues, college life, and how to get into college. They’ll get advice from college students and professionals, making it a great way to prepare for the future. By focusing on real-world skills and challenges, GSLI gives students a head start on making a difference in the world and getting ready for college and beyond.

9. Wall Street 101 at Bentley University

  • Location: Bentley University, Waltham, Massachusetts.
  • Cost: $3,180 (residential), $2,250 (commuter), $1,490 (online); $75 application fee
  • Program Dates: June 17 to June 21 (online); June 24- July 19, 2024 (residential & commuter)
  • Application Deadline: April 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: Rising junior or senior high school students. 

The Wall Street 101 Program is a special learning opportunity for high school students interested in finance, covering topics like stocks, bonds, and even cryptocurrencies. It’s a chance to learn from experienced university teachers about how the world of finance works, including the latest in financial technology. The program mixes classroom learning with real-life financial tools, such as simulations and presentations from experts working on Wall Street, making it perfect for students who want to get smarter about money, even if they don’t plan to major in business.

A female student in her class with some of her classmates

Students in the program will do more than just learn about finance; they’ll also work on team projects like creating stock pitches and exploring investment strategies. They’ll get to use professional financial databases and participate in simulations that teach them about the economy and investing. This experience will help them with teamwork, leadership, and speaking skills. Plus, they’ll get a peek into college life, learn about different careers in finance, improve their own investment knowledge, and meet other students from around the world, making new friends and gaining a global perspective.

10. Startup UCLA: Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute

  • Location: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); Online.
  • Cost:$3,602
  • Program Dates: June 24 – July 5, August 5 – August 16, 2024 (virtual); July 7 -August 3, 2024 (residential) 
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students 10th-12th grade. 

The Startup UCLA: Social Entrepreneurship Summer Institute teaches high school students how to start their own businesses or non-profits that aim to help people and solve social problems. In this program, students will learn step-by-step how to create an organization from scratch, including how to research, plan, and get their ideas off the ground. They’ll work together in teams to come up with a business idea that does good in the world, and then they’ll present their plan to a group of experienced business people to get advice and feedback.

This program is all about showing students how they can make a positive impact through business. They’ll learn important skills like teamwork, communication, and how to think like entrepreneurs focused on solving social issues. It’s perfect for students who want to make a difference and are interested in learning how to start and run an organization that focuses on social good. This experience not only teaches them about business but also encourages them to be leaders in creating positive change in their communities and beyond.

11. Camp Business at Drexel University

  • Location: LeBow College of Business, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Cost:$950 (commuter); $2,000 (residential) 
  • Program Dates: July 14- July 19, 2024 (commuter); July 21- July 26, 2024 (residential)
  • Application Deadline: April 19, 2024
  • Eligibility: Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Drexel LeBow’s Camp Business is a special summer camp for high school students that teaches them about different parts of business like accounting, marketing, finance, and management. Forbes recognized it as one of the innovative business programs for teenagers. The camp makes learning about business fun and interesting, showing students how to be leaders, work well in teams, and understand the basics of the business world, including the stock market and how to use important business documents and technology.

At the end of the camp, students get a certificate to show they completed the program. This experience is great for any high schooler thinking about studying business in the future or just wanting to know more about how businesses work. It’s a good way to learn important skills that will help them in college and their future careers, like how to think strategically and present themselves professionally. 

12. Business Institute at Wake Forest University

  • Location: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  • Cost:$2,800
  • Program Dates: June 9- June 14, 2024; June 16- June 21, 2024
  • Application Deadline: Rolling basis
  • Eligibility: Current 9th – 12th grade students.

The Business Institute at Wake Forest University offers a summer program for high school students to learn about business in a practical way. It covers key topics like finance, marketing, and management, giving students a good overview of what’s needed to start and run a business. Students will learn from experienced teachers and work in teams, ending the program with a presentation of their own business ideas. This hands-on approach helps them build critical thinking and teamwork skills.

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Besides classroom learning, the program includes real-life business experiences, such as analyzing case studies, improving project management skills, networking with business leaders, and visiting local businesses. This gives students a chance to see how businesses work in the real world. This summer program is a great opportunity for any interested business-minded student to get a head start on their education and career in this field, teaching them valuable lessons and tailoring their skills for the future.

13. The Michigan Ross Summer Business Academy

  • Location: Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • Cost:$5,000 ($50 application fee)
  • Program Dates: June 14- June 28, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 2024
  • Eligibility: Rising high school senior.

The Michigan Ross Summer Business Academy is a two-week program for high school seniors at the University of Michigan. Students get to work on real business projects from local companies and present their solutions, learning about different areas of business like marketing and finance through classes and workshops. They’ll work with teachers, alumni, and current students from Michigan Ross.

This program is great for students interested in business because it gives them hands-on experience with real-world challenges and teaches them important skills like teamwork and problem-solving. It’s a chance to see what studying business in college might be like, meet new people who share their interests, and get a head start on their future careers in business.

14. Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS)

  • Location: Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania.
  • Cost: Free ($50 application fee)
  • Program Dates: June 16- June 28, 2024
  • Application Deadline: March 22, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students who are entering 12th grade.

BOSS, a two-week residential program at Penn State University Park, is designed for U.S. and Puerto Rico high school juniors who are considering a business education in college. During this program, students get to experience life on a college campus while learning the basics of business through courses in college prep and business fundamentals, all taught by Penn State faculty.

This program is a great way for students to dive into the world of business before they even start college, giving them a head start on their business education. By taking part in this summer program, business-minded students not only gain valuable knowledge about business concepts but also get a feel for college-level coursework, tailoring their readiness for higher education and future careers in business.

15. Berkeley Business Academy for Youth- High School Entrepreneurship

  • Location: Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, California.
  • Cost: $6,050 (California resident); $7,050 (out-of-state resident)
  • Program Dates: July 6- July 20, 2024; July 20-August 3, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 29, 2024
  • Eligibility: High school students. 

The High School Entrepreneurship program at Berkeley Haas is a focused two-week course where students learn to create business ideas and plans for real problems. They get lessons from college professors and talks from business professionals, working together in teams to come up with and present their business ideas. This program is great for building confidence, improving how you talk and present ideas, learning about different business areas, and figuring out how to make a solid business plan.

Diverse group of young people chatting in college library

It’s a perfect chance for high school students to dive into the world of business early, helping them understand how businesses start and grow. They’ll leave the program with better business knowledge, communication skills, and a clear idea of how to turn a good idea into a business opportunity. This experience is valuable for any student interested in business or entrepreneurship, setting them up for success in college and beyond.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a business-focused summer program can have a big impact on your future. These summer programs, tailored for business-minded students, can definitely help you learn important business skills, meet new friends who share your interests, and understand what a career in business might look like. They’re a great way to get ahead and make sure you’re on the right path for your career.

Applying early is key because these programs are very popular, and spots fill up fast. Doing your research and applying as soon as you can will help you get into a program that can really help you grow and succeed. So, don’t wait – start looking for the perfect business summer program for you today.




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