Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS)

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Students and adults walk in front of the Old Main building, on the campus of Penn State University, in State College, Pennsylvania.

Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS)

The Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) at PennState is a special program for high school students interested in learning about business. It’s a chance to dive deep into the business world, learning about things like starting your own company and leading a team. BOSS helps students get a head start on their business education and gives them a peek at what the future could hold in the business field. It’s designed to help young people become the business leaders of tomorrow by teaching them the basics in a fun and engaging way.

This blog is here to tell high school students all about BOSS – what it is, where and when it happens, and why it’s a great opportunity for anyone thinking about a career in business. If you’re a high school student thinking about what comes next or you’re really into the idea of going into business, BOSS could be a big step forward for you. It’s all about giving you the tools and knowledge you need to succeed in the world of business.

What is Penn State’s Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS)?

PennState’s Business Opportunities Summer Session, commonly known as BOSS, is a special program that happens every summer for two weeks. It’s designed just for high school juniors who live in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

This isn’t just any summer camp; it’s a chance for students to stay and learn right on the Penn State University Park campus, which is one of the biggest and most well-known campuses around. The idea is to give these students a real taste of what college life is like, especially for those who dream of studying business when they go to college.

What makes BOSS really stand out is that it’s not just about sitting in a classroom and listening to lectures. Instead, students get to dive into courses that cover the basics of business, like how to start and run a company, how to be a great leader, and what it takes to succeed in the business world.

And the best part? All of these classes are taught by actual Penn State faculty members – the same professors who teach college students during the school year. This means students get a true college experience, learning from some of the best in the field.


But BOSS isn’t just about learning the theory of business. It’s also about putting those ideas into practice. Students work on real-life projects and work in teams, just like in the real business world. This hands-on approach helps students understand not just the “what” of business, but the “how” as well. It’s a great way to see if a future in business is right for them, all while building skills that will help them no matter what career path they choose.

Another key part of the BOSS program is its focus on preparing students for college. Besides the business courses, there are also classes aimed at helping students get ready for the college application process, including how to write a great college essay and how to apply for financial aid. This makes BOSS not just a learning experience about business, but also a crucial step towards getting into college.

In short, BOSS is unique because it offers high school students a real-world glimpse into business education at the college level, taught by experienced professors, with a mix of practical and preparatory coursework. It’s an invaluable experience for any young person thinking about a future in business, providing them with knowledge, skills, and a taste of college life that they won’t find anywhere else.

Where is the Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) Being Held?

The Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) finds its home at Penn State’s University Park campus, located in the vibrant town of State College, Pennsylvania. This campus isn’t just a place for learning; it’s a community where students from all over come together, making it the perfect setting for high school juniors to get a real feel for college life.

University Park is Penn State’s largest campus, known for its beautiful scenery, sprawling green spaces, and impressive buildings. It’s like a small city designed for students, with everything from libraries and classrooms to cafes and recreational facilities. For the BOSS program, students will live right in the heart of this bustling campus in a residence hall dedicated to housing them and their fellow participants. This means they’ll be living the college life 24/7, eating in dining halls, sleeping in dorm rooms, and studying in some of the campus’s best spots.

The residence hall where BOSS participants stay is set up to make them feel comfortable and safe. Students will have their own space to relax and study, but they’ll also be living close to their new friends from the program. It’s a great way to learn how to live with others, manage your own time, and become more independent – all important skills for college and beyond.

But living on campus during BOSS isn’t just about the dorm life. Students will also get to explore all that University Park has to offer. They can spend time outdoors on the green lawns, perfect for studying or hanging out with friends. There are also plenty of places to grab a bite to eat, from quick snacks to full meals, all catering to different tastes and dietary needs.

The environment at University Park is designed to inspire learning and growth. With its mix of historic and modern buildings, it’s a place that respects tradition while embracing innovation. Students attending BOSS will find themselves in an inspiring setting, surrounded by the buzz of college life and the peaceful beauty of the Pennsylvania landscape.

Overall, the BOSS program at Penn State’s University Park campus offers high school students a unique opportunity to experience college life in a vibrant, supportive environment. From the moment they move into their residence hall to their last day on campus, they’ll be immersed in a world of learning and discovery, all set in one of the most beautiful and dynamic campuses around.

When Does the Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) Take Place?

The Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) for 2024 is scheduled to run from June 16th through June 28th. This two-week period during the summer is specifically chosen to fit into the busy schedules of high school juniors, making it an ideal time to dive deep into the world of business without the distractions of regular school work.

Portrait of diverse student in a room

During these two weeks, participants will have a packed schedule that includes business fundamentals courses, workshops on college readiness, and various hands-on projects. It’s important for students interested in joining the BOSS program to mark these dates on their calendars and make sure they’re free to fully commit to the program’s duration. There won’t be regular classes, but each day will be filled with activities designed to maximize learning and engagement in a college environment.

Students should also keep an eye out for any specific timelines related to the program, such as arrival times on the first day and when they’ll need to move out of their campus housing on the last day. Being aware of these key dates helps ensure a smooth experience, allowing participants to focus on making the most of their time at BOSS. So, for those planning to be part of BOSS 2024, June 16th to June 28th are the crucial dates to remember.

Why Should You Join the Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS)?

Joining the Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) at Penn State is a fantastic way for high school juniors to get ahead, not just in business, but in life. There are loads of reasons why this program is a must-do for anyone thinking about a future in business. Here’s why:

1. Academic Benefits

First off, BOSS gives you a real college experience. You’ll be learning from Penn State’s own professors, diving into business fundamentals, leadership, and entrepreneurship. This isn’t just textbook learning; it’s hands-on, with real projects and team activities that show you what business is all about. This experience can give you a huge advantage when you start college for real, making your transition smoother and your college applications stronger.

2. Personal Growth

Living on campus for two weeks, you’ll learn a lot about yourself. Managing your time, living with a roommate, and making new friends from different places – these experiences help you become more independent and confident. It’s a sneak peek into college life that many students don’t get until they’re freshmen, giving you a head start in personal development.

3. Career Advantages

Thinking about your future career? BOSS is a great way to explore the business world before you even finish high school. You’ll get a clearer idea of what path you might want to take, whether it’s entrepreneurship, marketing, finance, or something else. Plus, the connections you make here – with teachers, professionals, and other students – can open doors for internships, mentorships, and jobs down the line.

In summary, joining BOSS isn’t just about filling your summer with something to do. It’s about setting yourself up for future success in college, in your career, and in life. With the academic boost, personal growth, and career insights it offers, plus the chance to hear from those who’ve walked this path before, BOSS is an opportunity too good to miss.

How to Join the Business Opportunities Summer Session

Joining the Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) at Penn State is an exciting step for high school students interested in business. Here’s a simple guide on how to get started:

Who Can Join?

BOSS is open to students who are entering their 12th grade year and are keen on pursuing business education in college.

Program Fees

Good news! Most of your expenses for the BOSS program, like food, lodging, and activities, are covered. However, you’ll need to sort out your own travel to and from the University Park campus. Remember, you can’t bring a personal car, but there are plenty of other options like being dropped off, public transport, taxis, or flying into State College. Once you’re accepted into the program, there’s a small registration fee of $50, but don’t send this with your application. It’s only required after you’re accepted.

How to Apply

  1. Start with the Online Application: Head over to the program’s website and fill out the application form. This is your first step to entering the world of BOSS.
  2. Personal Statement/Information: Write a one or two-page essay in a Word document or PDF. Make sure to answer these questions:
    • Why do you want to attend BOSS, and what do you hope to gain from the experience?
    • Tell us about any other academic or educational programs you’ve been part of.
    • List your academic awards or honors and the courses you plan to take as a senior.
  3. High School Transcript: Ask your school’s counseling office to send over your transcript from 9th grade up to your most recent grades.
  4. Standardized Test Scores: You’ll also need to provide your latest standardized test scores (like the SAT, PSAT, or another test your school administers). If you haven’t taken any of these tests, have your school guidance counselor get in touch with the BOSS office.
  5. Letter of Recommendation: Get a letter of recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor. It should talk about your academic achievements and how you’ll contribute to and benefit from BOSS.
  6. Scholarship Statement (If Needed): If you need financial aid, include a statement from your parent or guardian explaining your family’s financial situation.

All additional supporting materials, like your essay, transcript, test scores, and letter of recommendation, can be emailed directly to the specified email address on the program’s website.

By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to joining an enriching summer experience that could shape your future in business. Remember, it’s about showing your interest in business, your academic dedication, and how you’re ready to grow.

When is the Deadline to Apply for the Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS)?

The deadline to apply for the Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) is Friday, March 22, 2024. This is the final date by which all your application materials, including your online application, personal statement, high school transcript, standardized test scores, letter of recommendation, and any scholarship statements, need to be received. It’s a strict deadline, so it’s crucial to get everything in on time to be considered for the program.

Side view at multi-ethnic group of students using laptop while studying in college

Starting the application process early is really important. Waiting until the last minute can lead to stress, mistakes, and sometimes even missing out on the chance to apply if you run into unexpected problems. Here’s some advice to make sure you get everything done well before the deadline:

  1. Mark the Deadline on Your Calendar: As soon as you decide to apply, mark March 22, 2024, on your calendar. Setting a reminder a few weeks before can also help keep you on track.
  2. Gather Your Materials Early: Start collecting your transcripts, test scores, and any other documents you need as soon as possible. Some of these items can take time to get, so the sooner you start, the better.
  3. Ask for Recommendations Early: Give your teacher or counselor plenty of time to write a thoughtful recommendation letter. Rushing them won’t do you any favors.
  4. Work on Your Essay in Advance: Don’t leave your personal statement until the last minute. Start early so you have time to revise and make it as strong as possible.
  5. Double-Check Everything: Before you send in your application, double-check that you’ve completed all parts of the application and included all the required materials. Missing documents can delay your application or even disqualify you.

By starting early and planning ahead, you can ensure that your application to BOSS is complete, well-thought-out, and arrives on time.

How Hard is it to Get Into Penn State’s Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS)?

Getting into the Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) at Penn State can be competitive. The program is selective because it offers a unique and valuable experience for high school students interested in business. Each year, many students apply, but only a limited number are chosen to participate. The selection committee looks for certain qualities in applicants to ensure they pick students who will benefit the most from the program and contribute positively to the learning environment.

What the Selection Committee Looks For:

  1. Strong Interest in Business: You should show a genuine interest in learning about business and entrepreneurship. Your personal statement is a great place to express why you’re drawn to the business world and what you hope to gain from the BOSS program.
  2. Academic Achievement: Good grades and strong performance in related subjects like math, economics, or social studies can help your application stand out. The committee wants to see that you’re capable of handling college-level coursework.
  3. Leadership and Initiative: Any experience in leadership roles, whether in school clubs, sports teams, or community service, can strengthen your application. The BOSS program values students who take initiative and can work well in teams.
  4. Recommendations: A strong letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor who can vouch for your academic abilities and character can make a big difference.

Tips on How to Stand Out:

  • Be Authentic: In your essay and application, be honest and authentic. Share your true interests, experiences, and goals. Authenticity stands out more than trying to say what you think the committee wants to hear.

male student studying

  • Highlight Unique Experiences: If you’ve had any unique experiences that have shaped your interest in business or leadership, be sure to highlight them. This could include starting a small business, participating in a startup weekend, or any other entrepreneurial activities.
  • Show Your Readiness to Learn: Express your eagerness to learn and grow through the BOSS program. The selection committee is looking for students who are not just academically prepared but also open to the new experiences and challenges the program offers.
  • Proofread Your Application: Make sure your application is free from errors. This might seem small, but a well-prepared application shows attention to detail and seriousness about joining the program.

While getting into BOSS can be challenging due to its selective nature, focusing on these areas can help your application stand out. Show the selection committee who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and how eager you are to learn and grow through the BOSS program.

Final Thoughts

The Business Opportunities Summer Session (BOSS) at Penn State is a golden chance for high school students to dive deep into the business world. It’s not just about learning business theories; it’s about experiencing real college life, working on practical projects, and growing both personally and academically. If you’re a high school junior with a passion for business, BOSS is tailored just for you. It’s a unique summer session that can set you on a path to success in the business field. So, don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity. Apply now, and start your journey to becoming a future business leader.


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