Business Institute

Swim with the sharks who know how to create and seize opportunities in ponds large and small.

Develop practical skills and the ability to think critically while gaining valuable exposure to important business topics and methods of analysis. Students will be exposed to the essential aspects of business needed to launch and run a company, including finance, human resources, management, marketing, and operations. In addition to working alongside experienced faculty and collaborating in teams, this institute ends with a team presentation, in which students pitch ideas showcasing the knowledge they gained throughout the week.

At a Glance

Dates: June 12 – 17 or July 17 – 22, 2022

Who Can Apply?: 9th – 12th grade students

Overnight Tuition: $2,500

Day-Camp Tuition: $1,500

Location: Winston-Salem, NC – Wake Forest University Campus

*Courses carry no secondary school or college credit. Upon completion of the program, an official Wake Forest University Certificate of Completion will be awarded to all Business Institute participants.

What You’ll Experience

Topics Covered:

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Innovation
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Networking and Teamwork

Hands-On Experiences:

  • Work with WFU Business Professors and Experts
  • Engage in Interactive Discussions of a Business Case Study
  • Improve Team-Building and Project Management Skills
  • Presentation of Team Project
  • Network and Visit with Business Leaders
  • Visit and Tour with Local Businesses and Organizations

*Hands-on experiences are subject to change.

Business Institute Cost

Overnight | $2,500

Day Camp | $1,500


A Day in the Life

  • 8:00 am – Morning Meeting and Breakfast
  • 9:00 am – Welcome from Academic Leader- Professor Bren Varner
  • 9:30 am – Session 1 Topic: Live Panel of Business Leaders
  • 10:00 am – Session 1: Q and A
  • 11:00 am – Session 2 Topic: Introduction to Marketing and Case Studies
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch
  • 1:00 pm – Workshop: Introduction to Business Modeling
  • 2:00 pm – Financial Analysis in Business
  • 3:00 pm – Networking and Team-Building Workshop
  • 4:00 pm – Business Project Team Planning Session
  • 5:00 pm – Dinner
  • 6:30 pm – Evening Activities
  • 7:30 pm – Free Time
  • 9:00 pm – Prepare for Bed
  • 10:00 pm – Lights Out

*The “A Day In the Life” sample schedule is subject to change.


Meet Your Academic Leader

Bren Varner

Academic Leader, Business Institute

J. Bren Varner is a Professor of Practice in the School of Business and the Director of the Business and Enterprise Management Degree Program. He previously served as the Program Director for the University Center for Entrepreneurship where he managed the co-curricular initiatives for the Wake Forest entrepreneurship program. Prior to Wake Forest, he worked with numerous entrepreneurial ventures, focused primarily on technology, software, and the Internet and has provided merger and acquisition advisory services for the software and IT industries.

At Wake Forest, he has taught various undergraduate and graduate classes within the strategy and entrepreneurship disciplines. He is a three-time recipient of the WFU School of Business Senior Class Teaching Award and the recipient of the 2008 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Award from the Acton Foundation, an award that recognizes the top 30 entrepreneurship educators in the country.

He received his bachelor’s degree in business from Wake Forest University and his master’s degree in business administration from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.