High School Critical Thinking, Problem Solving & Creativity

Berkeley Business Academy for Youth

Business Courses

B-BAY courses are taught by Haas faculty, PhD candidates, and undergraduate students. Guest speakers from industry bring real-world perspective to the discussion. You'll learn through classroom instruction, independent research, computer lab assignments and team projects.

You'll be held to high academic standards, but you'll also have a lot of fun. At the end of the two-week session you will have thought through a real-world case study, written a report, and presented your findings, just like a real team of management consultants.

Here's what you'll work on:


Business Case:  Mastercard vs. Visa-The Fight for Mobile Payments:  The MasterCard vs. Visa case study allows students to put themselves in the shoes of Visa CEO, Joseph Saunders as Visa acquires CyberSources in 2010.  Saunders at Visa and other CEOs at companies like MasterCard are facing new technologies such as moile payments that might disrupt the ways they have been doing business for decades.  Students are given an overview of the landscape and are asked to critically think about some of the key indusry competitive, strategic, technology and leadership issues that Suanders and consumers face.  The case study provides students with an opportunity to see the real-time challenges that a CEO might face and the decisions he or she as well as consumers would need to make with limited information and what money may look like in the future.

Teamwork and Leadership: Understand different leadership styles and recognize qualities of an effective leader. Analyze your own leadership style. Experience the rewards and challenges of working in a team.


Critical Thinking /Communication: Enhance your critical thinking skills by brainstorming and identifying the real issue in a situation and the critical question to answer. Participate in discussions, work on teams, and give oral business presentations on smaller issues related to the case study.

Social Impact: The goal of the session is to provide students with a foundation of guidelines to measure social impact at a foundational level. Students will learn to critically think through some social implications of modern technology and/or impacts of environmental challenges.

Risk and Strategies: Gain a high-level overview of the capital markets, including the difference between debt and equity and the determinants of common stock returns. Explore how human instincts influence investing. Learn how local governments use debt to finance their obligations.

Banking: The global economy continues to evolve and economists and analysts offer unique perspectives on the challenges customers will face now and in the future. Open your mind to how banks-debt and interest, strategy, culture, compensation, decision-making, and other bank services operate today and in the future Put this knowledge to use developing effective remedies for the case study.

Corporate Social Responsibility/Introduction to Case Studies: Learn about global economics and why money and ideas move faster today than at any time before. What is ethical behavior in business and why should you care about it?

Design Thinking Problem Finding Problem Solving: Encounter the power of design thinking/problem finding, problem solving (PFPS). Working in teams, you will define a problem, create and test various hypotheses, and narrow down potential solutions.

Marketing: Learn the purpose and process of marketing and the role market research plays in analyzing what customers need and want. Perform a SWOT analysis and examine how the right marketing mix creates competitive advantage. Critically think through the marketing strategies for products at different stages in the product lifecycle.

Finance: Follow the money from sources of initial funding for a start-up and understand how capital moves. Acquire an understanding of the language of finance and the fundamentals of how financial markets function. Learn about pricing and interest rates.

Public Speaking/Presentation Skills Workshop: Learn the skills needed to be a polished and competent communicator. Practice body language and gestures while speaking. Learn the art of persuasive communication, presentation and even how to take charge of your fears.