Thinking about majoring in business? You’re not alone: business administration and management tops The Princeton Review’s list of the 10 most popular college majors. Admission to the premier business schools in the country can be as cutthroat as the business world itself, so help set yourself apart from the crowd by attending a pre-college summer business program.
General business programs
If you’ve done any research into undergraduate business schools, you’ve probably heard of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. But you don’t need to make it past the UPenn admission committee to take advantage of Wharton’s vast resources. At Leadership in the Business World, students entering their senior year of high school attend lectures and presentations by Wharton faculty and guest speakers; visit business enterprises and meet with professionals in finance, entrepreneurship, entertainment, real estate, and retail. Participants even prepare and present a business plan to a team of venture capitalists.
Start me up
Fancy yourself the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg? Learn to mind your own business with a summer program for aspiring entrepreneurs. At Susquehanna University’s Leadership Institute for Entrepreneurship, each student acquires seed money, hires personnel, pays expenses, manages inventory, and then sells his or her company (cha-ching!)
Big boss man
You know how the top step of ladders always says “WARNING: THIS IS NOT A STEP”? If you’re the type to step on it anyway, you might be suited to climbing the corporate ladder--where the top step is reserved for CEOs and it’s awesome.
Future chairmen of the board from African American, Latino, Asian American, or Native American backgrounds can attend a series of leadership and management workshops at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business Junior Executive Institute. No money? No problem--the program is tuition-free.
Offered each summer at Columbia, Emory, and the University of Texas at Austin, the curriculum at Operation Enterprise addresses leadership, management, business writing, presentation skills, strategic planning, and negotiation.
Invest in your future
The high-risk, high-reward world of Wall Street isn’t for everyone, but future traders can get rich or die trying at Bentley University’s Wall Street 101. Greed is good, but take it easy on those collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps, or you might throw the economy into another recession.
For a big-picture view of how the economy functions, the Foundation for Teaching Economics conducts Economics for Leaders seminars at college campuses around the country, focusing on responsible leadership and economic analysis.
Maybe you’ve had your fill of business and economics training through your high school curriculum, and you want to spend your summer learning something new. In the global business world, companies treasure applicants who speak other language--especially Mandarin Chinese. More and more high schools are offering Mandarin every year, but if yours isn’t one of them, you still have options. You could eat Chinese food every night and learn one word at a time from fortune cookies, which would be delicious but time-consuming. Or you could save some calories and look for a summer language program on Summer Program Search.
So whether you attend one of the programs above or find another option, you’ll show undergraduate admission officers that you’re serious about a career in business. Oh and whatever you do, don’t forget to pack your business socks.