Leadership in the Business World

Leadership in the Business World (LBW) is an intensive summer program for a select group of rising seniors who want an introduction to a top-notch undergraduate business education and the opportunity to hone their leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. Since 1999, LBW has brought students from six continents and nearly every state to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Business simulations and case studies
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Leadership competencies discussed
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Analytical activities from various business perspectives

Overview

Designed to provide students with a glimpse of Wharton’s undergraduate curriculum, LBW offers opportunities to learn about leadership in 21st century organizations through a dynamic and rigorous mix of classes with Wharton professors and business leaders, real-time business simulations, and team-building activities.

Each summer, LBW students:

  • Attend lectures and presentations from outstanding Wharton faculty and guest speakers
  • Participate in classroom discussions about core business subjects, including research-based theories of leadership and teamwork
  • Practically apply real-world business practices through Wharton Interactive’s digital simulations and case competitions
  • Conduct research on business enterprises and speak with successful leaders across the industries of finance, entrepreneurship, entertainment, real estate, retail, and more

All participants who successfully complete the program will earn a Wharton Global Youth Certificate of Completion.

Details

Academic classes are held Monday-Friday with extracurricular activities available in the evenings and on the weekends. Students move in on Sunday pre-program, and move out the final Saturday of the program. For more information on campus life, visit our residential experience page.

While each day varies in format, a typical day includes:

  • 9:00-10:30am – Topics lecture/guest speaker
  • 10:30-10:45am – Mid-morning break
  • 10:45-12:00pm – Recitation/small-group activity
  • 12:00-1:30pm – Lunch
  • 1:30-3:00pm – Topics lecture/guest speaker
  • 3:00-3:15pm – Afternoon break
  • 3:15-4:30pm – Simulations/recitations/small group work

Session topics may include:

  • Organizational Strategy
  • Leadership Competencies
  • Negotiation
  • Customer Centricity
  • Business Model Generation
  • Management

In the evening, students will have a number of extracurricular activities to choose from. Students can also opt to work on their final project with their group, meet with the program TAs, and/or relax at the dorm.

Please note, some days may not follow this schedule as there could be a site visit off campus or a simulation in lieu of lecture/recitation schedule.

Eligibility

Eligibility
High school students currently enrolled in grade 11 with demonstrated leadership experience and academic excellence of a 3.5 unweighted GPA or higher. International applicants are welcome.

Admission
Admission to LBW is highly selective. Each year the admissions committee receives many more applications than there are available places. Wharton will select approximately 120 students to attend per session. Selections are based on a record of academic excellence, demonstrated leadership, and a genuine interest in developing leadership skills. Interested students are strongly encouraged to submit an application by the priority deadline.

Please note that participation in LBW does not guarantee admission into Penn.

Instructional Team

Program Leader: Flavio Serapiao

Flavio Serapiao is a post-doctoral fellow and Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) working with Prof. Mike Nakkula at the Penn GSE Project for Mental Health and Optimal Development (PMHOD). He has masters’ and a doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Organizational Learning & Leadership and he is now specializing in Mental Health and Counseling (LPC). Flavio is currently co-teaching EDUC 617 - Counseling for School to Career Transitions, and has been serving as a Lecturer at the Penn CLO Doctoral Program for the Business Block.

He coordinates the Penn GSE Global Possibility Network, a global network to enhance youth development using Possibility Development Counselling. He also serves as a Liaison and Research associate at the Penn GSE Consortium for Mental health and Optimal Development.

Previous to joining Penn GSE, Flavio served as the Chief Human Resources officer at Lojas Americanas/B2W, the largest multichannel retail group in Latin America, which is controlled by 3G capital’s partners. With more than 25 years of executive experience, including the C-suite, he worked in several different areas such as: Management for Result & Leadership, Human Resources, Supply Chain & Operations, Sales & Marketing, Strategy & Planning, M&A integration and Innovation & Technology.

Instructor: Marissa Sawicki

Marissa is an MBA candidate at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Prior to Wharton, Marissa spent four years working as a Management Consultant, developing business strategies that interrelate growth goals, AI, and workforce inclusion. She’s passionate about embedding inclusion and belonging into the fabric of organizations and dismantling the barriers to entry that hold our country back from equitable job and education access.  

While at Wharton, Marissa has taught a college-credit bearing Essentials of Personal Finance course to high school students and has interned with the National Education Equity Lab, supporting the organization's growth initiatives. Within the Wharton Community, she participates in a mentorship program between Wharton Undergraduate students and Wharton MBA students, and she is a McNulty Leadership Fellow.   

Marissa holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland, College Park with a major in Business Analytics and Operations Management. Outside of her passion for education, Marissa also enjoys hiking in US National Parks, biking along the Schuylkill river in downtown Philadelphia, and spending time with her friends and family in her hometown of Washington D.C. 

Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants consist of both undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania. TAs facilitate small-group discussions, lead small-group lab work, ensure student understanding, assist with final project development, and hold office hours to answer student questions.

“During LBW, I was immersed in Wharton’s rigorous and collaborative academic culture. Through lectures and guest speakers, I was exposed to the distinct facets of the business world and discovered my interest in the intersection between business and psychology." - Maddie B., New York, USA