FBLA regional leadership conference: What was the consensus?

FBLA regional leadership conference: What was the consensus?

Easton Curtis, Reporter

Were you wondering who your future business leaders of America are and what they were up to last Friday?

January 20th, 2023 UHS hosted the FBLA (future business leaders of America) regional leadership conference, described on their website as, “In January, each region holds competitions to decide the members eligible to compete at the State Leadership Conference in the spring. Members placing first, second, third, or fourth in their competitive event at the slc are eligible to compete at the National Leadership Conference hosted by National FBLA-PBL.”(www.fbla-pbl.org) With five regions competing and a large range of categories to compete in.

I’ve gathered a few opinions from the attendees of the event and asked them what they thought about RLC and if they have any advice they wanted to share.

Starting strong with one of the judges from rlc, Cody Weinberg, Cody Weinberg is a local attorney that went to school at Urbana High, he came back to judge rlc to give back to his community which he mentions when I ask why he specifically came, “Sure so, I am a local attorney I work mostly with businesses, I think it’s important to give back to your community, I knew this event was at the high school where I graduated from so being here would give back to local students and provide feedback and that’s important to me and its important to our community.” Hearing why Weinberg wanted to attend the conference was admirable but I’m sure some FBLA participants would also like to know what Weinberg looks for when judging a competitor. Upon hearing this question Weinberg answers, “practice, talk to yourself in the mirror, write your presentation over and over again, and do what it takes to know as much about your subject as possible and when you do that, all that’s left is public speaking and practice that that’s what gets you there” Practice does make perfect after all, one last remark he made was that everyone did well!

Although rlc was hosted at Urbana High, it is a regional conference so let’s go over what Annabelle Sickles from Tuscarora thought of RLC this year. When asked what she enjoyed participating in most she said, “I thought that the workshops were really interesting, and when I competed the judges were really nice, and even though we had problems, everything was handled efficiently.” I also really admire competence in problem solving and thought the workshops were really engaging. Weinberg told us that practice is important and after I asked Sickles what she thought she told me, “In the future, make sure you really read the guidelines, and make sure you’re prepared for your event, and that you’re confident and that you have fun.”

I’m sure you’re curious what Sickles was referring to when she was talking about the workshops at the event. There were several rooms with activities inside, like bingo, business creation competitions, and even one sponsored by Men’s Warehouse. I interviewed Ashley Qiao, a workshop creator in hopes of learning about what was behind her workshop. She describes her workshop as a competition, “ The competition is basically, these couple of groups get together, and its groups of three. They create a business premise, business idea, a logo, and they get judged on who’s the best, and the best one gets a ton of lollipops.” When I asked her what her favorite business premise was so far she said, “Right now there’s one over there actually, that they already filled me in on. It’s called the bear fried, it’s like a teddy bear and it shoots out nuggets.”

The next interview I got was from a couple people from Urbana High, Alan Safadi and Sruti Nandanavanam. Alan entered for computer game simulation, and Sruti entered for Social Media Strategy. Both of them said their presentations went well and when I asked what advice they had they both strongly believed procrastinating your project is the worst thing you could do. When I asked if they had any presentation tips they Alan told us, “try to interact with the audience, I find they are a lot nicer when they get involved and you can like see them chuckle or smile.” and Sruti told us, “The judges aren’t as mean as they make it seem, so like try to interact with them like normal people”

Lastly I think it’s important to recognize all the hard work that went into the preparation of this event by leadership members and volunteer, I do regret not interviewing a volunteer but I did interview, Karthik Muthukkumar who is an event planner for Urbana’s FBLA club, I found this out by asking Karthik his contribution to rlc, “I am on the leadership team as an event planner, so I work with the leaders to build ideas for upcoming events and get things done so I’m kind of like the president’s right hand man you could say. So that’s kind of my contribution.” Karthik also participated in Social Media strategies, when I asked him if he had any advice he answered with “So the thing is that, I mean going up there on stage gives you adrenaline when you are presenting, so just like act like your having a conversation and even if you don’t know the content that well just act like you know what your talking about and just like confidence is a key factor in presenting.” Later in the interview he adds that he hopes FBLA can do well in the future, which leads me to conclude this article on rlc and wish everyone who qualified luck at the States leadership conference!

Citation for summery of rlc-
FBLA Home. Future Business Leaders of America. (2023, January 27). Retrieved January 30, 2023, from http://www.fbla-pbl.org/