Thirty-three of the state’s top high school students recently spent a week at Mays immersed in college life.

In its fourth year, the Business Careers Awareness Program (BCAP), which ran from June 13-18, exposed participants to how a business operates and to the types of jobs available in business. Sponsored by Ernst & Young, the program also seeks to peak their interest in attending Mays.

“The purpose of this program was to familiarize them with A&M, Mays Business School, Mays faculty, and to get me in touch with them, so they can start asking questions,” says Sonia Garcia, Mays’ student recruitment coordinator.

During the week, participants interacted with Mays faculty, who led classes on basic business concepts, and with Mays students serving as peer counselors. Participants were placed on teams to create a business plan, which they presented at the end of the week in a competition. Teams were awarded various prizes, such as for plan effectiveness and creativity.

“The point of the entire week was so they would know how to identify a market, sell a product, do the budget, and the analysis,” says Garcia, adding that the students, who represent the top 1 to 9 percent of their high school classes, were eager to make the most of their time at Mays.

Since the program began in 2001, 51 of the 83 participants (excluding this year’s group) applied and were accepted to attend Texas A&M. Of those, 22 enrolled at the university and 18 enrolled at Mays.