Rice Summer Business Institute

Primary Goals
  • Introduce a group of ambitious high-school students from low and moderate income communities to the world of business, broadening their expectations of career paths that are possible for them
  • Sow seeds for developing diverse business leaders for Houston’s future.
Who 40 rising juniors and seniors from Houston high schools
Chavez, Chinquapin, Davis, Harmony Science, Jones, Kashmere, KIPP, Lee, Madison, Milby, Reagan, Sam Houston, Sharpstown, Sterling, Westbury, Wheatley, Yates, YES Prep
What First-hand exposure to the fundamentals of finance and the world of business
When June 13 – 26, 2015 (weekdays), 9am – 4:00pm
June 27, 2015 (Saturday), 11am – 2:30pm
Where Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business - McNair Hall

This program is provided free of cost to students accepted through a competitive application process. The program includes daily lunch and bus transportation to and from Project GRAD HISD high schools.

For More Information, contact Director James Lenz (james.e.lenz@rice.edu), 713-348-3166 or Program Coordinator Sara Brooks (sara.brooks@rice.edu) 713-348-3590.

\Institute Program

The Rice Summer Business Institute (RSBI) introduces students to the world of business, economics, energy, and finance. Throughout the course, students address questions such as: How does the stock market work and how do I manage a portfolio? How does Nike maintain brand dominance? I have a great idea for a new business – how do I make it happen? How do I make ethical business decisions and inspire others to follow me?

RSBI offers an introduction to many general business topics including:

  • Corporate organization
  • Consumer marketing and brand management
  • Business strategy and planning
  • The stock and commodities markets
  • The business of energy
  • Business leadership and ethics
  • New product introduction
  • Sports business management
  • Banking
  • Professional development

The Institute starts with a kick-off Friday in which the students will introduce themselves, take videos and class pictures, and get to know each other through a fun ‘egg drop’ team competition.

Then, the first week of the Institute focuses mostly on the presentation of topics and skills development:

  • Lectures on business topics by prominent Jones School faculty and alumni
  • Instruction and exercises in behavioral business skills such as team building, individual initiative, and time management
  • Excel, PowerPoint, and internet exercises facilitate hands-on internalization of skills and curriculum topics
  • Usage of TI BAII Plus financial calculators, which become a gift to each student who successfully completes the Institute
  • Information sessions by the Rice admissions office and Jones School career placement

The second week includes significant time spent on cross-school student teams conducting an in-depth business analysis of a retail company, concluding with a team presentation to the entire group on the final day of class.

\Fun Learning
A stock market trading simulation, a Venture Capital new business pitch competition, and a sports management case study provide a chance for fun learning. Additionally, field trips to our Houston-based corporate partners provide a first-hand view of the real life business world. In 2014, field trips included underwriter Bank of America Merrill Lynch; corporate sponsors ConocoPhillips and the Houston Texans; and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (at Houston).

Team Business Analysis
Cross-school student teams conduct an in-depth business analysis of a retail corporate entity (such as Nike, Harley Davidson, and eBay). This analysis leverages learning from earlier sessions in the Institute and focuses on answering such questions as:

  • What are company’s primary businesses?
  • What is the company’s competitive strategy?
  • Why is the company making or losing money?
  • What is the nature of the customer base?
  • What is the company’s marketing strategy?
  • Is the strategy working?
  • Is the company launching new products?
  • How is the company’s stock performing?

The team analysis culminates in a team presentation to the entire group on the final day of class.

Awards Ceremony
The Institute closes with a Saturday Awards Ceremony and luncheon open to all those involved – the students, their parents, faculty and alumni guest lecturers, and the RSBI underwriter and sponsors. Awards are given to the team with the best business analysis / presentation along with two individual achievement awards. Finally, all students ‘graduate’ from the Rice Summer Business Institute receiving a certificate of participation.