LIFE Camp – Susquehanna University
Every summer, The Leadership Institute for Entrepreneurship (LIFE) at Susquehanna University provides high school students with an opportunity to better prepare for success in the future. It’s called LIFE Camp.
Emma Fleck, an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Susquehanna University is the camp’s director.
“It’s really a six-day intensive way of dipping into the concept of entrepreneurship. We’re really excited to welcome those students who want to make change, whether that’s in their local community or whether that’s on a much larger scale for society as a whole.”
A broad spectrum of students from across Pennsylvania attend the camp each year. Others come from as far away as New York, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
“Entrepreneurship to me is about three things. It’s about creativity. It’s about innovation. it’s about problem solving and all of those things can be encouraged and developed in the classroom.”
Professor Emma Fleck listens to student presentations at LIFE Camp.
Working in a simulated entrepreneurial setting, the students form teams, then start and run their own business. Over the course of one week, each team engages in a variety of business-related competitions, builds a web site, and produces their own infomercial. Attendees gain leadership and team-building skills, develop new friendships and learn valuable lessons from the pros.
“The university provides a strong framework for the young people to follow. We provide counselors who tend to be Susquehanna business students. We provide mentors. They can be from the local business community or they can be people like myself, a professor here at Susquehanna University.”
A group of LIFE Camp attendees
All activities are designed to give the students real-world entrepreneurial experience and teach skills such as problem solving, marketing, pricing, and advertising. The goal is for each student to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and gain a new sense of self-confidence.
“They find solutions to problems that they didn’t know they could. There’s no substitute for getting hands on experience which is exciting and the part that they will remember.”
Attending the camp also provides the students with resume material they can use on college or job applications and a better idea of what life on a college campus might be like.
“We see our students come nervous and young and vulnerable and at the end of the week we see these amazing young men and women stand up and present something which is professional and exciting and innovative. That’s a beautiful process to be a part of.”
Every summer, Susquehanna University’s Leadership Institute for Entrepreneurship offers a unique experience for high school students. It’s called LIFE Camp.
Emma Fleck: It’s really a six-day intensive way of dipping into the concept of entrepreneurship.
At Life Camp, high school kids learn a team-based approach to the ins and outs of starting and running a company.
Emma Fleck: It’s about creativity. It’s about innovation. It’s about problem solving.
The kids come up with a business idea, then mentors from the university and local businesses provide support as the kids develop their businesses through specific tasks.
Emma Fleck: There is no difference between what a 16-year-old can come up with and what a graduate student can come up with in terms of ideas. The concept remains the same. The premise remains the same and they’re just as invested and integrated into this system.
At LIFE Camp, the kids run a business, create an infomercial, a website, and participate in business-related competitions.
Emma Fleck: There’s no substitute for them getting hands on experience which is the exciting part and that’s the part that they will remember.
At the end of the week, the kids are more creative, more innovative, and better problem solvers. Skills that better prepare them for future success.
Live the life of an entrepreneur this summer with Susquehanna University’s Sigmund Weis School of Business. LIFE Camp provides high school students with an exclusive leadership opportunity to better prepare them for future success.
Learn more about The Leadership Institute for Entrepreneurship (LIFE) at Susquehanna University at https://www.susqu.edu/academics/summer-high-school-programs/leadership-institute-for-entrepreneurship
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Innovation U is a project from WITF, where we share stories of entrepreneurs and Pennsylvania universities who are working together to make new ideas come to life. Learn more at witf.org/innovation