Club Spotlight: FBLA
By: Kreesh Teli
Ruben S. Ayala boasts an enormous amount of clubs on campus. With over 100 to choose from, it is worthwhile to regularly highlight those that exceed and achieve. Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) teaches high school students to develop professional business skills and etiquette for use in the real, job-filled world.
Some skills and benefits that students develop and experience include (but are not limited to): leadership development, academic competitions, educational programs, membership benefits, community service, and awards & recognition.
Students can develop leadership development skills by holding chapter officer positions at the local, state, and national levels.
FBLA also gives members a chance to network with accomplished business professionals by offering participation in business-focused workshops, seminars, and academic competitions.
Members of the FBLA club start off the year with academic competitions by attending the annual Leadership Development Institute, located in Anaheim. This two-day conference places a heavy emphasis on workshops that focus on business skills as well as advice for future competitions. Then, the first round of competition begins in February at Los Osos High School. There, the annual Inland Section Leadership Conference takes place, and the preliminary round of competition commences. Once cuts are made, students have the option to continue towards the State Leadership Conference, located in either Sacramento or Ontario in alternating years.
“This is when students tend to get the most stressed,” said Art Boren, advisor of Ayala’s FBLA chapter, “In the midst of AP testing and finals, FBLA adds yet another commitment to the students’ busy schedules.”
If a student places high enough at the state level, they are eligible to attend the National Leadership Conference, where they compete with members from all over the world.
At these academic competitions, members demonstrate their business expertise at high-profile regional, state, and national competitive events. There is a wide array of events to choose from, such as: Networking Concepts, Client Service, Agribusiness, Accounting, Personal Finance, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, etc. The top students in each event are recognized with plaques, trophies, and sometimes cash awards.
If competing isn’t really your thing, don’t fret! FBLA offers educational programs in which members can create career portfolios, enhance their knowledge with world-recognized skills certifications, and have access to select college scholarships. In addition, members receive exclusive discounts and enhanced benefits for travel, education, and more.
If these features aren’t appealing enough, being a part of FBLA earns you service hours! Members work with the March of Dimes to help end premature births by participating in awareness campaigns and the annual March for Babies fundraiser.
Overall, Future Business Leaders of America has many benefits of joining. Although it is a great choice of extracurricular for prospective business majors, the skills learned throughout participation in club activities can be applied universally towards virtually any field.
“Before I joined FBLA, I was scared of public speaking,” said Wensu Ng, Chapter President, “but this club has really helped me develop professional skills that I am sure to use in the future.”