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Sam Hollman, senior in economics and FBLA secretary, presents his FBLA awards and medals while president Olivia Mitchell, senior in accounting and finance, talks about competitions Sept. 6. Hollman has placed in many events at both state and national FBLA competitions. Bella Mezzacapo

FBLA prepare students for business world 

Bella Mezzacapo photojournalist 

What was once called “Phi Beta Lambda” is now Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). The name that was decided for postsecondary divisions, PBL, was changed this summer. Formerly, FBLA was the title given to middle school and high school divisions. 

The organization had their first meeting as FBLA on Sep. 6 in the Kelce Auditorium. The organization’s president hosted the meeting and covered various topics regarding the organization. 

“Our name was changed this summer, they decided that FBLA is not only a high school thing and to extend the name to us, too,” said Olivia Mitchell, FBLA president, and senior in accounting and finance. “We partake in academic competitions, and the topics, there, you usually learn in the classroom, here! We talk about all of these tests, I mean you take tests here, but these are a little bit less pressure. You just go into it and hope you do the best that you can, and they’re all topics that are talked about in your classes. There are quite a few events, too, to get involved in.” 

As a student, it is common to be overwhelmed and nervous when hearing the word “test.” However, some students thrive in this area. So, they partake in test-taking events at competitions. 

“I know it’s hard to believe, but I like to compete in FBLA!” Sam Holman, FBLA secretary, and senior in economics, said. I’m not really good at a whole lot of other things, but I can take a test pretty good over programming and micro/macroeconomics. Some of the tests are actually not really that hard, and you may win by default, which is nice. That’s kind of been my experience! At the state competition you can take up to five tests, so I took five. I took programming concepts, microeconomics, macroeconomics, computer concepts, and cybersecurity. I got first in more than one.” 

Although that is one category at competitions, not everyone is a test taker. So, there are other events with different categories that members can compete in. 

“Along with tests there are presentations, interviews, and help desk and client services,” Mitchell said. “The help desk is kind of like a real-life scenario. I did it once and I was roleplaying as the owner of a photography business, and you kind of talk on the phone with someone who had an issue. Basically, you have to navigate them through solving the issue.” 

In FBLA, there are many things to get involved in outside of competitions. There are chances at bettering business skills, networking, travel, and even making friends. 

“In FBLA, you have all of these chances to build a resumé, demonstrate your knowledge and job skills that you have, and expand on your leadership skills,” Mitchell said. “There’s also chances to travel, when going to competition. You can also make a lot of friends and meet people through networking.” 

For some who were involved in FBLA in high school, they may know these things already. However, high school FBLA is not a prerequisite to collegiate FBLA. Anyone can get involved at the collegiate level, even without experience. 

“Just because you didn’t do FBLA in high school does not mean that you can’t be successful in FBLA at the collegiate level,” Mitchell said. “We’re open to anyone who’s interested, whether they’ve been in FBLA before or not. We are trying to be flexible on figuring out when we will have our meetings. We have a lot of interesting topics coming up that we will cover at our future meetings! We plan to have a panel of people who were interns last summer, and you can ask them any questions! We’re also going to cover how to enter the job market after college as well as resumé review.” 

For those who are interested in joining, membership dues will be $25 for the whole year due on Sep. 27. Make sure to check out FBLA on Gorilla Engage for more information. 

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