Haas Summer Youth Business Academy Expands Reach

Eva Luna Reiling

Eva Luna Reiling, 13, is still months away from her freshman year in high school, but she already has dreams of attending Berkeley-Haas and becoming an entrepreneur. At the Berkeley Business Academy for Youth Program (B-BAY) last year, she discovered a key skill she needed to develop.

“I learned how to work on a team,” says the Arlington, Va., resident. “I used to be really bad at it, but now I use what I learned about teamwork in school every day.”

Reiling, whose father and mother earned MBAs at Berkeley, decided she wants to follow in their footsteps after attending B-BAY, which is going on its sixth year this summer. Founded for middle school students in 2008 by the Haas School’s Center for Young Entrepreneurs at Haas (YEAH) , the intensive program continues to extend its reach in curriculum and student diversity.

This summer will mark the second year YEAH offers a session to high school students with housing.  In addition, more international students will be attending the program—including students from Belgium and Brazil for the first time—thanks to recruiting across the globe.

Tuition from B-BAY supports the Center for Young Entrepreneurs at Haas, which teaches business skills in under-resourced Bay Area schools during the school year. Along with teamwork, business concepts such as entrepreneurship, accounting, marketing, and corporate social responsibility are tailored for students’ levels. As a final project, middle school students create a business website, while high school students present a business plan and critique a case study.

Lecturer Frank Schultz is one of the Haas faculty members who have been donating teaching time to B-BAY for the last five years. His coursework emphasizes leadership and teamwork. One of his experiential exercises teaches students about organizational structures such as forming (students getting together), storming (students competing with ideas), norming (coming up with a mutual plan), and performing (teams handling the decision-making process).

“The students learn that if they have disagreements during the storming point, they should not necessarily feel as if they got a bad team,” he says. “Disagreement, negotiation, and coming to a consensus on a direction are fundamental to moving on to the norming and performing stages.”

Joyce Zhao, 17, a high school junior from Guangdong province in China and 2013 alumna, is applying what she learned in school this year. “Some fundamental ideas related to business and economy are helpful for my AP economics study now,” she says.

Meanwhile, 2010 B-BAY alum, Jonathan Lee, 17, of Lafayette, Calif., has used his knowledge to help him place as a finalist in a regional and state business competition. Thanks to B-BAY, he says, “I felt like I was already comfortable with all the material.”

Visit the Berkeley Business Academy for Youth website.

Eva Luna Reiling