About Business Horizons

Business Horizons, a program of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry Foundation, is a weeklong personal and professional development program for Iowa high school students. Students (grades 9-12) from across the state attend each summer to explore career opportunities and immerse themselves in a unique, hands-on working environment with their peers. The program has enjoyed 30+ years of success in Iowa, and more than 5,000 students have taken advantage of the Business Horizons experience.

Teams of students (“Industries”) work together and alongside Iowa professionals to navigate through exciting challenges and competitions throughout the five-day program. Students are tasked to create a product, develop a business and marketing strategy, film an infomercial and pitch their idea to a panel of investors at the end of the week. Participants also get a chance to hear from excellent speakers about a variety of relevant topics and participate in dynamic team-building exercises. In the evening hours, students enjoy fun activities with new friends.

We often hear that Business Horizons not only changes the way students think, but also how they perceive themselves and their future. Throughout the week, students build upon their inherent leadership skills in a positive team environment, allowing them to better define their personal strengths and interests. Students are exposed to new career possibilities as they visit local businesses and connect with professionals in a variety of industries. Business Horizons is an experiential learning opportunity that provides essential knowledge and skills for students regardless of career interest.

For a day-by-day overview of the program, please visit the Students page or contact us to learn more.

Media Track

Business Horizons also offers a great opportunity for students who are interested in the media and communication fields through the Media Track, a program sponsored and run by the Iowa Newspaper Foundation. Not only does the media team (10-12 students) take part in the fun large-group sessions of Business Horizons, but they also get to become the voice of the program and cover all the action of the week. Students have the opportunity to maintain social media accounts and their own Business Horizons Media website, where they publish photos, videos and blog posts. Throughout the week, students learn from Iowa’s media professionals and put into practice the interviewing tactics and writing strategies that are successful in the media world today to create their own newspaper for students and parents to take home at the end of the week. 

To participate in the Media Track, students simply need to check the "Media Track" box on their Business Horizons application. 10-12 students are accepted into the Media Track each year on a first-come, first-served basis.