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Education, Business, & Law
For several years, Wharton served high-school students through programs like Leadership in the Business World. Knowledge at Wharton started publishing a business journal for high-school students in 2011, and it has since expanded into an investment competition and on-campus programs.
In 2019, the newly formed Wharton Global Youth consolidated these activities; it now offers online, on-campus, and on-site programs; credit-bearing courses; competitions; and weekly published content. “Millions of students are aspiring to study business as undergraduates,” says Serguei Netessine, Wharton’s senior vice dean for innovation and global initiatives and a professor of operations, information, and decisions who oversees the program. “Nobody among business schools is catering to this market. We have a unique potential.”
During the pandemic, Global Youth moved most of its curricula online and created solely online programs like Future of the Business World and Global Youth Meetup, an online community for virtual students. Despite the shift to fully virtual learning, enrollment in summer programs doubled. Now, under the leadership of Lesser and with the work of a full-time 11-person team, Wharton Global Youth offers eight on-site programs, including Essentials of Finance, Data Science Academy, and Essentials of Entrepreneurship, that brought students back to campus in 2022. This past summer, with a mix of in-person and online learning, more than 2,200 students attended the full suite of Global Youth programs.
Wharton Global Youth Program, which postulates that business learning should begin as early as middle and high school. “We have extended Wharton’s learning opportunities to become the first business school to engage pre-college students worldwide,” says the program’s executive director, Eli Lesser. “While some students get this education in their youth, many do not. Very few experience the business education that Wharton can provide.”
Wharton faculty have been among the program’s biggest champions. “High-school students are ambitious and talented but also audacious and coachable,” says associate management professor Tyler Wry, who designed and taught the inaugural Essentials of Innovation program on Wharton’s San Francisco campus in July. “I also like to think that I can give them a new set of lenses to look at the world and how to use business as a responsible tool.”
This story is by Diana Drake. Read more at Wharton Stories.
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