High school summer business program builds skills, confidence and friendships

A business summer camp student on the CSU ropes course

Global Business Academy returns to CSU campus in July

Do you think you know what high school business education is all about? Case studies, competitions and business attire, right? The Global Business Academy hosted by CSU’s College of Business might challenge your assumptions.

“It’s not your typical high-school business event,” Hope Parker, K12 College of Business entrepreneurship program manager said. “This a very different experience, whether it’s building the entrepreneurial and global perspectives, meeting new students from all over the world or experiencing Northern Colorado.”

After a pandemic-related cancellation and a shift to an online program last year, the Global Business Academy returns to campus July 6-15 for the first time since 2019. In doing so, the high school summer business program builds on its tradition of offering up to 55 high school students entering their freshmen, sophomore and junior years the opportunity to immerse themselves in business programming while living in residence halls, engaging with College of Business faculty and gaining exposure to the power of using business to create a better world.

Foundations in business, excursions in Northern Colorado

Drawing participants from around the world – many who are already enrolled for 2022 will travel to Fort Collins from Latin and South America – Global Business Academy gives students an opportunity to network with global peers and gain international perspectives. Students participate in activities such as a days-long simulation of the rollout of an electric vehicle and intimate conversations with leaders of key regional businesses. They also experience the thrills of a startup with Ram Rumble, an entrepreneurial-skills workshop. While many of the activities center on building the foundation of business knowledge, students build leadership, communication and teamwork skills that are valuable in every career path.

“The Global Business Academy is an amazing, immersive experience that brings day-to-day business interactions to life through simulated games, connections with global executives and world-renowned faculty, and offers many team building and self-discovery activities,” College of Business Dean Beth Walker said. “It’s a great way for a high school student to start preparing for college and enhance their application.”

Applications Open

Applications to Global Business Academy are accepted through May 1. Children of CSU alumni and employees receive a 10% discount when they register using the code CSUEMP. Thanks to the generosity of program sponsors, scholarships up to 75% of program costs are still being awarded.

Learn more or apply

It’s not all professional development and hands-on education for students at the business summer camp, as attendees enjoy ample opportunity to enjoy Northern Colorado attractions. Participants stay overnight at the CSU Mountain Campus, immersing themselves in the unparalleled beauty of the Rocky Mountains, which includes a teambuilding exercise on the climbing walls, rope walks and obstacles of the ropes course. They spend another afternoon rafting on the Poudre River. Time is also set aside for urban activities such as exploring Old Town Fort Collins and attempting to complete an escape room.

What’s new for ’22

As it returns to on-campus programming, the Global Business Academy also improves the experience with new activities. Increasing its focus on using business for a better world with exposure to corporate philanthropy, students will meet with staff from OtterCares, Otter Products’ charitable foundation. A trip to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keensburg allows students the chance to get face-to-face with great cats, bears and wolves then meet with staff to take a look inside the business operations of a nonprofit organization. Both experiences aim to provide students with perspective that business doesn’t always fit the stereotypes of ruthless dealmakers.

“When students come, they’re like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that business had all these other components! I didn’t realize it connected to a better world,’” Parker said. “There are all these other facets of business that they might not have ever thought about before because they get used to having a traditional view of business.”

This year’s camp also increases its emphasis on developing leadership skills. Students will complete a DiSC personality evaluation to understand their personal strengths, communication styles and challenges, then apply that knowledge to improve their abilities to work in teams. The program also introduces a partnership with Junior Achievement, and will offer career exploration assessments, financial literacy, presentation skills and personal branding. Although the camp presents these skills in a business framework, the fundamentals they present are so universal they provide value regardless of students’ plans.

“This is such an amazing opportunity that will help them grow as individuals and as leaders and strengthen their application no matter what they decide to do,” Parker said. “It’s giving them those 21st-century skills that are just amazing, no matter what major they might choose.”

About CSU’s College of Business

The College of Business at Colorado State University is focused on using business to create a better world.

As an AACSB-accredited business school, the College is among the top five percent of business colleges worldwide, providing programs and career support services to more than 2,500 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students. Faculty help students across our top-ranked on-campus and online programs develop the knowledge, skills and values to navigate a rapidly evolving business world and address global challenges with sustainable business solutions. Our students are known for their creativity, work ethic and resilience—resulting in an undergraduate job offer and placement rate of over 90% within 90 days of graduation.

The College’s highly ranked programs include its Online MBA, which has been ranked the No. 1 program in Colorado by U.S. News and World Report for five years running and Report and achieved No. 16 for employability worldwide from QS Quacquarelli Symonds. The College’s Impact MBA is also ranked by Corporate Knights as a Top 20 “Better World MBA” worldwide.