Business Horizons, a program of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry Foundation, is the longest-running, most unique summer program of its kind for high school students in Iowa. Business Horizons brings together roughly 100 students from across the state for one week of challenges, competitions and fun, while experiencing the world of business. The program is perfect for forward-thinking students looking for an opportunity to get ahead. Students gain first-hand knowledge about entrepreneurship, develop teamwork and leadership skills, discover their strengths and opportunities in Iowa and much more.
Our mission is to promote the value of the free enterprise system through leadership, teamwork, entrepreneurial activities and personal development opportunities.
HOW IT WORKS
Students are divided into teams, called “Industries,” of 10-12 students. Each industry is led by two business executive volunteers called Industry Advisors (learn more about their role here) who spend the week facilitating team building activities, discussing the speaker’s information and guiding the industry through each of the projects they are tasked with throughout the week.
Business Horizons is the definition of experiential learning. Participants not only gain valuable knowledge about the world of business, but also discover their personal strengths and how their leadership and teamwork skills translate to a unique working environment with a wide variety of people. Students are able to apply the knowledge they learn in the classroom setting to real-world experiences. Regardless of career interest or goals, each student takes away useful tools for a successful future.
WEEK AT A GLANCE
Welcome to Business Horizons! Students receive an overview of the fast-paced week ahead and quickly meet the students and Iowa professionals from across the state who they will be working with throughout the week. After some fun team-building, the group is tasked with their first challenge: build a product and launch a business!
Teams begin work on their game plan for the week’s competitions with help from Iowa experts. Students split up to take part in dynamic workshops to develop their team and determine their role. The week-long business simulation challenge begins to test how well teams can make important decisions for a profitable future.
Students spend time off campus at a local business and learn about career opportunities in Iowa. Top-notch keynote speakers continue to visit the program and provide valuable knowledge and inspiration. Guests speak on topics such as creativity in the workplace, managing your finances in college and how your communication style fits into a team.
As the week winds down, teams put finishing touches on their projects, and gain some unique perspective as they meet with successful Iowa entrepreneurs. Hiring managers join the group and share tips on how to stand out and get hired in the future! Participants unwind with all of their new friends at the nightly “After-Hours” activities that take place throughout the week.
Competition Day! Students start the day giving their product pitch to a panel of investors and entrepreneurs. Next, all teams get to sit back and enjoy a viewing of product infomercials that were filmed and edited by each team during the week. The week ends with the BH Trade Show - an opportunity to show off all of their hard work to family and friends before celebrating at Graduation.