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.


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 complete the program will earn a Wharton Global Youth Certificate of Completion.


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

Students will also have the unique opportunity to attend our Wharton Global Youth Speaker Series, which features presentations and conversations with notable Wharton faculty. The topics covered in these presentations span the breadth of Wharton teaching, allowing students insights into additional topics and cutting-edge research not specifically addressed within their program’s focus area. Previous speakers and topics have included:  

  • Dean of The Wharton School, Professor Erika James: Crisis Management 
  • Professor Michael Roberts: Finance 
  • Professor Ethan Mollick: The Future of AI  
  • Professor Katherine Klein: Social Impact   
  • Professor Michael Platt: Neuro Economics 
  • Professor Barbara Kahn: Marketing 
  • Professor Maurice Schweitzer: Negotiation and Deception 
  • Professor Olivia Mitchell: Financial Literacy 

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.


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 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

Academic Director: Henry Xu

Xu Han (“Henry”) is an Associate Professor of Management at the College of New Jersey and an Adjunct Associate Professor and Senior Fellow in the Management Department at the Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania. Henry earned his Bachelor in International Law from China Foreign Affair University and Ph.D. in Management (Strategy) from Guanghua School of Management at Peking University.

Henry’s broad research interest lies in understanding how firms create value and sustained competitive advantage through corporate entrepreneurship and business model innovation. He is particularly interested in firms in FinTech and renewable energy sectors. Henry’s research has been published in influential academic and practitioner-oriented journals and presented in multiple international conferences. He received “Best Empirical Paper Award” from the Entrepreneurship Division of Academy of Management. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of Management and Organization Review.

Henry’s teaching is focused on a diverse set of strategy and entrepreneurship related topics (e.g., business model innovation, corporate entrepreneurship, digital transformation and disruption, early stage financing) in undergraduate, MBA and Executive Education programs. He also writes teaching cases on these topics. Henry received a Wharton Teaching Excellence Award in 2020. Besides research and teaching, Henry co-founded and runs a venture-backed climate tech company which received grants and prizes from National Science Foundation and Department of Energy. He also advises a number of start-up and established companies on various strategy and entrepreneurship issues.

Academic Directors advise the Wharton Global Youth team on instructor hiring and develops the program curriculum, including but not limited to: course topics, suggested activities, readings and capstone projects.

Instructor: EriOluwa Oni 

EriOluwa holds an MBA degree from The Wharton School, and a BSc degree in Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where she graduated with a first-class degree.  

At Wharton, EriOluwa pursued her passion for education by exploring teaching. She taught Management and Finance courses to Penn undergrads and high schoolers. She served as a Teaching Fellow for the Wharton Global Youth Program by teaching the Essentials of Personal Finance course held in conjunction with the National Education Equity Lab (NEEL). She also served as a Teaching Assistant for the Wharton Management Department. 

Prior to Wharton, EriOluwa was an Associate Vice President at UCML Capital Limited (an investment bank in Nigeria) where she worked primarily in the Debt Capital Markets practice; raising capital for bank and non-bank financial institutions and governments. EriOluwa enjoys working on dynamic and impactful projects. She spearheaded market wide initiatives with multiple capital market operator categories to remodel SEC’s securities clearance process aimed at improving transaction efficiency and expanding access to capital markets. 

Instructor: Michael Britton 

Michael Britton is currently an Executive MBA student at the Wharton School, graduating in May 2024. In this program, he completed a dual major in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship and Innovation and is a member of the Wharton Healthcare Alumni Association.  

Michael most recently was a Vice President at Inverness Graham, a middle market private equity firm focused on investing in companies in the healthcare, software, and environmental sustainability industries. In this role, he led the firm’s value creation group and helped drive the development and execution of financial and strategic initiatives across the firm’s portfolio of companies. 

Prior to Inverness Graham, Michael was a manager in the M&A transaction services practice at Deloitte and Touche LLP. In this role, he advised private equity and strategic companies on buy-side and sell-side transactions primarily in the technology and healthcare industries. 

Michael earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University. He currently lives in the Philadelphia area with his wife, daughter, and goldendoodle. 

Instructors work closely with the Academic Director to deliver daily program lectures, facilitate group activities and coach students’ capstone projects.

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