Some students have been excelling in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Club at Macon Middle School (MMS). Namely, Holly Williams won the regional event for Financial Literacy, and Colby Tyler and Addie Powell won the regional event for Career Exploration. These students will advance to the state competition, which takes place in March.
FBLA is a career and technical student organization that focuses on preparing students for business careers. FBLA at MMS prepares students for the real world by exposing them to high-pressure situations, developing useful skills, and allowing them to gain knowledge of business and careers. As students succeed, they gain confidence and determination to continue to do well.
“There are many factors included in FBLA,” said Tyler. “We volunteer in the community and compete at the regional, state, and national level. It takes determination and perseverance.”
The students participate in competitions, workshops, and seminars to train for leadership skills. Students also gain knowledge on business, as well as careers pertaining to business.
“FBLA simply gives members an opportunity to learn, travel, and grow as [future] business leaders,” summarized Tyler.
However, FBLA may not be for every student. “It does take quite a bit of time, which is used for studying for competitions and making presentations,” added Tyler. “The best type of student for this club is one who is willing to give up their time to study and work hard doing so. Having skills of responsibility and time management is also necessary. FBLA competes by taking tests and speaking publicly; that is not everybody’s forte.”
A major component of FBLA is competition. When asked why students compete, Tyler answered, “Competing helps students prepare for high pressure situations in the business world. Interviewing, giving presentations, engaging in public discussions — all are examples of skills students develop by competing in FBLA.”
The competition is completely based on how well the student knows their chosen topic. Tyler explained: “Students compete by testing their business knowledge and skills. Students take the test before the leadership conference with an FBLA proctor present. Then, students attend a leadership conference and see their results. Scores are determined by speed and accuracy.”
Presentations are also a component of the competition.
“[They] are graded on the quality of the presentation’s delivery as well as the presentation itself,” she added. “It is somewhat of a lengthy process. It is not entirely difficult to win, but that depends on how hard you work and how well you perform. It gets harder as you move up each level because the spots to qualify get smaller and smaller.”
FBLA participants must be dedicated to succeed in the competition. With winning competitions comes medals. The criteria for winning medals depends on the event and which category you choose overall. For tests, it is based on accuracy and speed as well as presentations and the quality of the presentation and the presentation itself.”
Each level distributes medals differently, and winning medals is a significant accomplishment for students.
“The top three places at the regional level, the top two places at the state level, and the first place winner at the national level all receive medals,” concluded Tyler. “It is a big deal to win because I can finally see that all the effort I put forth finally pays off, and all the time I gave up was worth it.”
Obviously, much preparation is needed to succeed. Students prepare in various ways. Tyler, for example, makes study guides and focuses on what she does not yet know or what needs more practice.