Business Horizons: A Student’s Perspective

May 10, 2019 | Law and business Carolyn Mueller, Senior at Washington High School,

It has been my privilege to attend Business Horizons not just once, but twice! I went for the first time in the summer of 2017, and I won’t lie, I was quite anxious showing up. I’d been to other summer camps so I was excited for another, but also very nervous because I didn’t know what to expect.

As it turned out, words can’t describe how amazing of an experience Business Horizons was, but I’ll try as I touch on some of my favorite highlights:


In teams with other students from across the state, we had to invent a product and learn how to create a business plan. We then made infomercials and other marketing materials for a trade show, calculated how the economy could impact our business and ultimately presented our ideas to investors.

While developing our ideas, our work was overseen by our Industry Advisors, who are Iowa professionals who worked with us as they would a colleague and handled our ideas as if in the real business world. We also had the opportunity to network with Iowa business owners for feedback on our pitches and ideas. In addition, we heard from speakers on topics like how to minimize college debt and save for the future, how to get into an entrepreneurial and growth mindset, and even how to give a proper handshake and communicate professionally.

As fun as this all sounds (and I promise, it was!), every day we also had “after hours” activities. During these hours we participated in various activities, from sports competitions (like rugby), to improv shows with the advisors, to an evening at Adventureland.


During Business Horizons, I gained a lot of knowledge that I will cherish for a lifetime. Most important were the teamwork skills that I learned. We had to manage our teams and learn to work with others who have different interests and abilities than our own. Business Horizons also taught me many team building exercises and bonding activities that I will use throughout my professional life. One of my other favorite takeaways was the information on how to best save money, especially with entrepreneurial minds of often wanting to put money back into a business.

By the end, you wouldn’t believe we had all just met that week. I continue to cherish the many relationships I made with peers, mentors and business leaders, and now have a network spread all across Iowa.

I loved all these aspects so much that I applied to come back the following summer (2018) as a student ambassador to help staff and work “behind the scenes” during the camp. I was accepted and had another amazing week at Business Horizons. I am now serving as a student representative on the Business Horizons Board—all thanks to my family’s encouragement to attend just a few years ago.

Business Horizons 2019 will be held July 14-18 at Central College in Pella, Iowa. Registration is available online now at an early-bird discounted rate at www. Through their participation, students can also receive college credit and a Central College scholarship.