For the first time, the Carlson School hosted 38 high school females as they explored the world of opportunities that business can offer. The new Women Mean Business leadership experience guided high-achieving females entering their junior or senior year of high school, and interested in science, technology, engineering, and math to discover how their skills translate to business careers.

For one week, Women Mean Business participants took part in mock classes at the Carlson School, visited companies like 3M and Target, engaged with women leaders from Twitter and Buffalo Wild Wings, and put their new knowledge to the test by addressing a real-world business challenge presented by fitness company Alchemy.

“Now I understand that business is more than sitting behind a desk. It’s about using strategy, technology, and math to accomplish a goal,” says Isabella Gauvreau, a high school senior from San Diego, California, and a Women Mean Business participant.

After connecting with current Carlson School students and getting a sneak peek into the careers of established women leaders, many of the participants can now picture themselves putting their talents to work in a business field.

“This week, I’ve had a lot of experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise had—touring companies and taking classes like a college student would—and it helped me narrow down what I want to do in the future,” says Elizabeth Beckman, a student from Plymouth, Minnesota.

The Carlson School intends to offer Women Mean Business again in 2016, and is exploring partnerships with the business community to repeat the success of its pilot year.

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