Wharton Summer High School Programs

Wharton Business Leadership Academy

The Wharton Business Leadership Academy is an intensive two-week online summer opportunity for a select group of exceptional rising high school juniors and seniors who want an introduction to outstanding undergraduate business education. Participants will get the chance to develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills, while learning from and collaborating with Wharton faculty, guest speakers and other talented high school students from around the world. This new online experience involves case competitions and interactive digital simulations, including the Saturn Parable, an advanced leadership simulation from Wharton Interactive.

Program Information

Program Dates:    June 7 — June 18, 2021  /  June 21 — July 2, 2021  /  July 12 — July 23, 2021  /  July 26 — August 6, 2021

Wharton Global Youth Meetup access: June 7 – August 17, 2021

Location: Online

Live Schedule: Monday –Friday, 11am –1pm EDT (UTC-4)

Eligibility: High school students currently enrolled in grade 10-11 with demonstrated leadership ability. International students are welcome.

About Wharton Business Leadership Academy

A new program offered this summer, the Wharton Business Leadership Academy prepares talented high school students to become leaders in the global economy. Through a curriculum of rigorous coursework and activities, students will build skills in emotional intelligence, problem solving, interpersonal communication and effective teamwork and collaboration. The course culminates in a simulated trip to Saturn, where small groups must navigate the obstacles of interstellar travel to achieve the goals of the mission.

Program highlights include:

  • 2-to-3 hours of daily live lectures and presentations from outstanding Wharton faculty, instructors, and guest speakers
  • Introductions to business pathways, organizational leadership models, and competitive strategy
  • Case competitions and interactive digital simulations, including The Saturn Parable, an advanced leadership simulation from Wharton Interactive, utilized by Executive and MBA students
  • Daily interaction with peers and instructors to problem-solve and discuss research-based theories of leadership and teamwork
  • Experiential learning opportunities designed to exercise leadership, communication, and teamwork skills
  • Collaborative group projects that will test your potential as future business leaders

Advanced Leadership: The Saturn Parable

Taking place in 2087 students assume the role of a member of the Enceladus Expedition, the first commercial space mission to Saturn’s moon Enceladus, whose south pole provides the only reliable source of liquid water beyond Earth. Each player will have to navigate real-world challenges in this fictional setting, receiving continuous, adaptive performance feedback via the gaming interface. 

Course Details and Requirements

Course Meeting Times:

Daily participation and engagement are required Monday through Friday. Each day will include some mixture of live, online class sessions; facilitated, small group discussions; collaborative group work; simulations; and independent work, completed within the Wharton Online Learning Platform. Live class sessions will meet as outlined below.

Live Session Schedule:

  • Monday – Friday: 11:00AM-1:00PM Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)
  • Live, Small Group Activities: Additional small group meetings may be required to complete collaborative activities or peer project work. If necessary, these meetings will be scheduled at the students’ convenience.

Technical Requirements:

  • In order to fully participate in this course, you will need a computer that meets minimum system requirements for both Canvas LMS and Zoom Videoconferencing. Refer to the following links:
    Canvas LMS Support Resources
    Zoom Requirements and Support
  • All programming originates from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (Eastern Daylight Time)

Admission and Eligibility

Admission to the online Wharton Business Leadership Academy is selective. Students admitted into Wharton’s Leadership in the Business World program are granted first access to this exclusive new offering. If space remains available, an application will open later in the spring to new applicants. Eligible candidates should demonstrate a record of academic excellence, formal and informal leadership roles, and a genuine interest in developing leadership skills.

Program Leader

Keith Ellison Blue Suit1 090520 (3)

Keith D. Ellison runs the Ellison Group, Inc., a leadership development and management consulting firm, with an emphasis on improving managerial and communication skills and cycle times of operational processes. He has worked with such clients as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lockheed Martin, Novo Nordisk and CIGNA, to name a few.

Ellison teaches management communication at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and facilitates a six-month leadership development course for the Martin Luther King Development Institute in Harrisburg, Pa. He also serves as the program director for the Urban League of Philadelphia Entrepreneurship Center, which leads a team of consultants in providing business advisory services and training to entrepreneurs in southeasternPennsylvania.

Ellison’s corporate background includes positions at IBM, Proctor & Gamble and Manor Care, Inc. He earned an MBA from the Wharton School and a B.S. in electrical engineering and mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University.

Please note that participation in Wharton Business Leadership Academy does not guarantee admission into Penn.

For more information, please contact Wharton@summerdiscovery.com or call +1.516.414.5555.