Aspiring Business Professionals at the Pennsylvania FBLA State Leadership Conference

Haverford FBLA members pose inside the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center before entering the awards ceremony.

Gina Ngo, Editor-in-Chief

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Haverford High School’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) ventured on their annual trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania to participate in the State Leadership Conference from April 8 through April 10.  The competitive events and workshops that students attended were held at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, located a few miles away from the renowned Hershey Park and Chocolate World.

Pennsylvania FBLA is a rapidly growing organization with 12,770 members from 278 schools that host their own chapter in the state.  The State Leadership Conference was packed with students from all over the state, with a collective total of 5529 participants who placed in the top four of their competitive event in their respective regions.  

The primary purpose of the conference was for FBLA members who placed in the top regional five in their event to advance in the state competition.  Competitors began preparing for the state competition assessment for their event as early as December, after they learned the exciting news that they advanced to the state level.  The most popular event for Haverford FBLA was Parliamentary Procedure, with 13 members competing in it. Other events that members competed in were Advertising, Agribusiness, Business Communications, Business Law, Health Care Administration, Help Desk, Insurance & Risk Management, Intro to Business, Management & Decision Making, and Marketing.  

When students were not taking their assessments, they occupied themselves with the wide variety of workshops in the convention center at Hershey Lodge.  Students were required to attend a minimum of five workshops during the conference. With workshops ranging from interview and presentation skills to investment advice and entrepreneur insights, there were a variety of insights for participants interested in pursuing a career in business to gain.  Students also had the opportunity to meet new individuals – both students and professionals – from different areas of the state and build friendships or networks with them.

Some competitive events, such as Parliamentary Procedure and Impromptu Speaking, incorporated preliminary performances for competitors who placed in a certain level.  Several Haverford students had the opportunity to watch a performance conducted by a team of Parliamentary Procedure competitors. Reema Patel, a Haverford senior and FBLA member, said of the performance, “It was incredible.  The group of presenters was very professional”.

FBLA not only aims to provide aspiring businessmen and businesswomen in high school with the platform to explore various business paths at an early age, but it also strongly emphasizes community service and fundraisers in its mission.  During the opening session of the conference, Haverford’s FBLA chapter was recognized for winning 6th place in having the most community service hours logged in the state. The Pennsylvania FBLA state officers also highlighted the state chapter’s success in raising thousands of dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a major charity organization that FBLA donates funds to.  

The Haverford students had a positive experience at this year’s conference, in spite of not qualifying for the National Leadership Conference.  Nhi Nguyen, a Haverford senior and FBLA member, said, “The FBLA State Leadership Conference gave me the opportunity to be exposed to different aspects of the business field and allowed me to network with real-world professionals, who were able to give me insight and advice for my own career path.”  

Though the school year is coming to a close, Haverford FBLA has no plans of faltering its community service and business activities.  Members are continuously encouraged to seek as many business-oriented activities as they can, whether they are from the National Business Honor Society, Junior Achievement, or other organizations outside of school.  


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