After I was elected to serve as the 2014-2015 State President for New Jersey Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL), an old friend and role model, Frank Gorman, congratulated me and described PBL as a “gem in the rough.” This cliché is one of the many that actually turn out to be true; FBLA-PBL, though it may seem low-key and unassuming, allows me to stay creative and reap the benefits of being part of a national association of the best and brightest college students, alumni and faculty.
PBL was first presented to me at Ocean County College when I placed in the National Top Ten for accounting and marketing, an unlikely but interesting mix. When I arrived at Rider in the fall of 2012, our PBL chapter was not as active, partly because of the Hurricane Sandy tragedy which slowed down a lot of our events.
However, in the spring 2013 semester, as a Rider PBL member, I worked with the local president, Christina Yasay and other members to get Rider PBL nationally-chartered and went on to represent our great university in Anaheim, California; the trip was a huge success! Personally, I was excited to place with top honors in finance but on a larger scale, I was very proud that Rider University was finally recognized at our PBL National Leadership Conference (NLC).
To qualify for the NLC, PBL members must place in their respective State Leadership Conferences (SLC). Participants of the NJ PBL SLC can expect to benefit in a multitude of ways. With colleges from all around New Jersey in attendance, participants can network and make life-long bonds that will carry into professional and personal life. Secondly, our professional development workshops give participants a specialized perspective on topics such as personal branding, corporate etiquette, and leadership to name a few.
PBL is a long-time supporter of the March of Dimes Charity which raises funds and awareness for prematurity and other birth defects among newborns. Davon McCurry (Rutgers University New Brunswick), Eeshanee Dixit (Rutgers University Newark), and I implemented a campaign at this year’s SLC garner support for our national goal to raise $550,000 dollars across all of FBLA-PBL’s divisions. Our PBL state officer elections give college students a chance to lead the organization on the state and national level. Finally, the highlight of the night is the PBL Awards Ceremony that recognizes the achievements of members in their competitive events. These events span subjects from business, government, cyber-security, social media, entrepreneurship and much more.
Here are Rider University’s highlights from the 38th Annual New Jersey Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference on February 22nd at Mercer County Community College:
Christina Yasay –1st place in Marketing Concepts and 1st Place in Organizational Behavior and Leadership
Alex Lamon - 1st Place in Entrepreneurship Concepts
Frank Kellogg - 3rd Place in Impromptu Speaking
State Officer Recognition
Timothy Mansure - Awarded State Membership Director Plaque
Frank Kellogg - Awarded State Secretary Plaque
Newly Elected Officers
Frank Kellogg - Elected State President for FBLA-PBL
Anne Mandel - Rider CBA Career Counselor, "Corporate Etiquette Workshop & Seminar"
Tim McGee - Advisor of Rider PBL
My current goals for the organization include making the PBL leadership conferences more accessible to students who excel academically and professionally and to students who want to improve their chances of getting a job after college.
Additionally, I want to make PBL a place that allows for individuals with diverse goals and interests to see their ideas to fruition. Currently, we are open to all majors, but our biggest obstacle is getting non-business majors to take that important first step and come to the New Jersey State Leadership Conference, that occurs every year. The location of 2015’s SLC will be a surprise.
The competitive events are a great learning tool. I can say this from firsthand experience. After competing in Impromptu Speaking at the SLC, I was inspired by my topic and created a possible business concept involving my other passion which is martial arts.
I know that my fellow students have their own interests and I encourage them to pursue those goals by contacting the current Rider PBL president, Christina Yasay at email@example.com. For information regarding the New Jersey PBL Chapter, students can reach out to the current president, Edward Day at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The small and close-nit nature of Rider has allowed me to spread the word about PBL easier. The faculty and staff have been very supportive in publishing articles such as this one and last year’s article on California. Additionally, while it may seem counterintuitive, some of the challenges I had when transferring have given me the energy and passion to see my goals to completion.