Global Business Academy – Not Your Average Summer Program

Dean Beth Walker engaged the college’s external executive board, composed of several Fortune 500 current and former executives, to create a business program that was accessible to a wide range of high-talent high school students to deepen their awareness of business and enhance their college preparedness. The effort ultimately led to the successful launch of the first Global Business Academy in summer of 2018.

Global Business Academy students
Global Business Academy students listen to instructions as they work together to launch a new product idea.

During its inaugural summer, the academy had 39 high school students from 14 countries immersed in the fundamentals of business, entrepreneurship, collaboration and innovation. Students built friendships over shared experiences such as travelling to Fort Collins from international cities and trekking around CSU’s Mountain Campus at 9,000 feet, including brave leaps off the towering ropes course.

Over the course of two weeks, students conversed with global executives, learned about personal finance, worked on teams to launch a product, and prepared business pitches to promote their ideas. Students graduated with strengthened confidence in themselves and pride in their new skills, but most importantly, they connected over their Spotify playlists and found ways to stay in touch with their new friends from around the world.

“At the College of Business, we believe in the power of business to create a better world, and we take pride in equipping our students with the knowledge and drive to make that happen,” remarked Walker. “Our Global Business Academy deepens students’ understanding of their own strengths and how they can be used in a business setting to affect positive change. It is truly transformative to have a student realize they have the ability to make a difference and can contribute in any setting.”

Don’t wait, the 2021 Global Business Academy will be hosted from July 14 – 23. Applications are due May 1! See all the program has to offer at:

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Global Business Academy students at CSU’s Mountain Campus









Discovering new perspectives

Ishaan was a hard sell when he first arrived at CSU as a student in the inaugural Global Business Academy last summer. “I had no clue what business was, and I had no interest,” he said, expecting his time to be filled with tiring lectures and tedious resume reviews.

Almost two weeks later, at the end of a transformative experience spent connecting with CEOs of global companies, learning from world-renowned CSU faculty, and getting to know his peers from around the world, Ishaan had a different perspective.

“It opens your eyes to a whole different aspect of the world and I think it’s a really cool experience for anybody. Now, I definitely have an interest!”

Global Business Academy students celebrate their awards during graduation on the last day of the program.

Ishaan, who was sponsored by Liberty Latin America, was one of a number of Global Business Academy students who received scholarship assistance from the college’s 2018 corporate partners—Arrow, Swire Coca-Cola, Daniels Fund, Deloitte, JBS, KMG Capital Partners, KPMG, Leprino, Liberty Latin America and Liberty Global. These connections with corporations, their business leaders and the College of Business’s Global Leadership Council, were vital to the success of the Academy and enabling a wide range of students from around the world to attend.

Building confidence

Students take part in CSU Mountain Campus Ropes Course
A Global Business Academy student prepares to leap off a tower in the CSU Mountain Campus challenge course.

Afraid of heights, Joy found herself halfway up a climbing wall on the first day of the Academy, unsure if she could make it any higher.

“I was really scared and everyone encouraged me,” said Joy, “Every step I took, literally every step, there were five people cheering for me. And that was just the first day! The rest of experience was even better.”

Exploring new concepts

Students collaborated to launch new products, even talking to people around CSU’s campus for feedback to incorporate into their projects. Group tours provided an inside look at innovate businesses in Denver, and hiking and rafting were an exhilarating way for students to take in the best of Colorado.

“It’s been an absolute blast,” said Cole on his last day as a student in the program. “I’ve always had a passion for business, but this gave me the best opportunity I could have asked for to explore it.”

“After 2 weeks it’s amazing how close you grow with all these people from around the world.” – Cole

“We got to see how the world worked, and it was really fun. I just loved every minute of it.”

– Farah

Global Business Academy students meet business leaders
Global Business Academy students connect with CSU alumni and local business leaders during an evening workshop.

2021 Academy – Accepting Applications

The 2021 Global Business Academy is now accepting applications from current high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors until May 1, 2021.

The Global Business Academy provides students with a taste of college life as they learn about entrepreneurship, decision making and negotiation, sustainable enterprise, personal financial literacy, ethics and more. As part of a global generation, today’s students are part of an interconnected world where leadership, cross-cultural communication and business knowledge are essential to success—areas in which the Academy provides critical foundations with the focus of using business for good.

2021 Global Business Academy students will:

  • Develop leadership and team-building skills through sessions in negotiation, innovation, strengths-based leadership and cross-cultural communication
  • Experience entrepreneurship first-hand in the academy’s unique ‘Ram Rumble’ that takes students from ideation and prototyping to concept development and pitching
  • Engage with local and global business executives through company tours and Q&A sessions
  • Experience the best of Colorado through adventures ranging from whitewater rafting to a Rockies baseball game

To learn more about the 2021 Global Business Academy and how to apply, visit