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Free Summer Business Programs Offered for Teens

Free Summer Business Programs Offered for Teens
Free summer programs for teens offered by the College of Business include Discover Actuarial Science, which provides students with hands-on experiences to learn about an in-demand career field.

High school students seeking transformative experiences during the summer can apply for three free high school programs hosted by the College of Business. Discover Accounting, Discover Actuarial Science and the DREAMBIG Academy provide insight into potential careers in the world of business and preview college life at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Teachers, counselors and Nebraska alumni can nominate current high school sophomores to seniors who could benefit from the experience by Monday, April 1. Applications are due Sunday, April 14. Both nominations and applications can be submitted online at the individual program's webpages. Students can attend more than one program if they choose.

“It's never too early for high schoolers to start thinking about college and career options. Often, high school students can be overwhelmed by the thought of having to choose a major, especially when they have had such little exposure to subjects and industries outside of the traditional high school coursework,” said Kendra Ritchie, director of recruitment. “These College of Business programs are a free and low-stakes opportunity for students to explore different business fields. Not only can they gain insight about the programs in the College of Business, but the students also get to stay on campus, try the food and potentially qualify for scholarships!”

discover accounting students
Discover Accounting features hands-on fun activities and professionals who share their experiences and career paths.

Discover Accounting - May 29-31

Discover Accounting gives current high school juniors and seniors a look at what majoring in accounting at Nebraska would offer and the potential careers associated with the field. Students stay in a residence hall, work on projects with current accounting students and meet graduates and industry professionals during tours of local companies. 

Jill Trucke, associate professor of practice in accountancy, leads the pre-college program. She sees Discover Accounting as a chance to gain insight into the field of accounting that students might not receive in high school.

“If you have any sort of interest in business, whether in accounting or not, you should apply for Discover Accounting. Nebraska Business alum Warren Buffett, ’51, said, ‘Accounting is the language of business,’ and this program allows students to explore the field and see if it is for them,” said Trucke.

She believes the summer experiences also offer a great way to build confidence around starting college.

"I know teens have endless opportunities on how to spend their summer and may wonder why they should take a couple of days to come to Discover Accounting. Of course, we want the students to see that accounting is fun and opens the door to a variety of career paths. However, it is so much more than learning about accounting. Our participants have an advantage over incoming college freshmen in that they already feel comfortable around campus and the College of Business, met new friends, and networked with accounting professionals and faculty," she said.

discover actuarial science
Discover Actuarial Science connects teens to college students, alumni and faculty to learn more about the career and how to be successful in college and beyond.

Discover Actuarial Science - June 10-12

At Discover Actuarial Science, students will take the first step to finding their future career in actuarial science or business. They explore the actuarial science field and how actuaries solve complex, challenging problems that impact the financial security of people and businesses, including insurance companies, hospitals, banks and more. Students work on projects with current actuarial science majors and meet graduates and industry professionals during tours of local companies. Applicants should be current high school sophomores and juniors with a 3.0 GPA or higher and have completed algebra II.

“We enjoy offering this program because, while actuarial science has been around for a long time, many students are not aware of this field and the rewarding career opportunities available. By attending Discover Actuarial Science, students participate in fun activities to learn what actuarial science is and what this career path can look like,” said Heather Clemens, Ameritas Actuarial Faculty Fellow, Seacrest Teaching Fellow, assistant director and associate professor of practice in actuarial science.

dreambig students
DREAMBIG Academy students learn to use their strengths, participate in a business pitch competition and tour workplaces of Husker alumni like Hudl, a sports software company.

DREAMBIG Academy - June 24-26

A multi-award-winning program by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the DREAMBIG Academy is designed to teach students general business and leadership skills, expose them to possible future careers and prepare them for the college search. The program empowers teens to experience college, including meeting professors, discussing areas of business and career skills, exploring college majors and resources and discovering their individual strengths through hands-on projects.

DREAMBIG applicants should be current high school juniors with a 3.0 GPA or higher and meet at least one of the following criteria: first-generation college student, or meet federal guidelines for low-income status or qualify for free or reduced lunch. Upon completion of the program, participants also qualify for the university's Emerging Leaders Scholarship, worth $8,000 over four years.

During the academy, participants get paired with a mentor who is a current business student at Nebraska. Mentor Kaylee Donjuan Mendoza, an international business major from Crete, Nebraska, has helped students in the program feel comfortable and at home at the university.

“As someone who is a first-generation student and comes from a minority background, everything is all about firsts. The DREAMBIG Academy provides an excellent opportunity for high school students to take their first steps toward college and a career in business,” she said.

Published: February 7, 2024