Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
By Grace Park, State President
Staring at the computer screen, unmuting our microphones, and clicking “Join Meeting”. This all sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it? When the world abruptly came to a close two years ago, not only did we utilize virtual platforms for school and everyday meetings, but we tuned in to the annual Illinois FBLA State Conference from the comfort of our own homes. Besides these challenges, our organization managed to stay active and retain high spirits. This is why this year’s State Leadership Conference means so much more. We finally get the chance to visit the capital of our state, compete in person, and connect with individuals face to
face. This conference is the experience of a lifetime, and I hope Illinois members take
advantage of everything we have to offer. Here are some things we suggest you prepare for:
● Practice practice practice your competitive event! Make sure to read over the guidelines
and run your presentation in front of your adviser or chapter members to get used to
● Find business attire! Everyone is expected to be sporting in formal wear since we are a
professional organization. Borrowing or thrifting clothes is a great way to find some fitting
● Communicate with your adviser and make sure you’re fully prepared to take on this
year’s conference, whether it’s travel details or permission slips.
● Be excited and open to stepping outside of your comfort zone. Talking to students you’ve
never met or presenting in front of judges may be nerve-wracking at first, but these are
ways you can prepare for the future and build essential soft skills.
Get ready, Illinois FBLA! We are only one week away from some of the best days of your high
school experience, can’t wait to see all of you in Springfield!
Running for State Office
By Jonah Kramer, State Treasurer
Running for state office can be intimidating, and you might be questioning whether you are up for the challenge or if you would even get elected. The steps to becoming an officer aren’t complicated though.
According to the Illinois FBLA Bylaws, state officer candidates should have experience as either an area or chapter officer. Each chapter can nominate one candidate for either president, secretary, treasurer, or reporter. Talk to your adviser as soon as possible if you wish to run for one of these positions. If you are chosen as your chapter’s candidate, you will receive an application to be completed by February, date TBD. There are two other ways to become an officer. All elected Area presidents are automatically State Vice Presidents. Additionally, the State Parliamentarian is chosen by the highest scoring participant in the Parliamentary Procedure test at State who also applied for the position. Ask Warren High School if you have any questions about the parliamentarian position :)
Elections will be held at the State Conference in Springfield, April 1-2 after all candidates give a speech and answer questions at a Q&A session. Don’t underestimate your chances to earn a position, as two positions were won by uncontested races last year.
Make no mistake, being a state officer is certainly a time commitment. The term begins after the National Leadership conference. Officers are expected to attend a week-long conference in Springfield in late July, which includes ICCCTSO and SLW. Another annual event is the FBLA State Board Meeting, typically held on a Friday-Saturday in September. Throughout the year, officers spend time working on tasks outlined in a Program of Work which is drafted at ICCCTSO. Tasks include sending out emails, finding sponsorships, and creating social media content. Learn more about the specific responsibilities of each position.
All that being said, it is extremely common for state officers to be heavily involved in other activities while still having the time to serve the Illinois FBLA. For example, the majority of officers on this year’s team play a varsity sport and hold other leadership positions.
If you have any questions about the election process and running for state office please reach out to me or any of the state officers!
The Importance of Social Media in Business
By Katie Bach, State Reporter
Social media is a valuable source of communication among friends, family, and even colleagues. In the business world social media is often used for things such as..
- Political Campaigning
- Viewing Stocks
- Sharing Ideas and other information across long distances
- Business Promotion
- Recruitment and selection of new employees
- Yahoo Finance
- And many others
In conclusion the benefits of social media are very broad depending on the business type but I believe that social media makes a huge impact on the business world. The real question is, what would they do without social media in the business place?
Don’t forget to Follow Illinois FBLA on social media for more FBLA updates.
By Yash Sharma, State Parliamentarian
FBLA's opportunities and amazing personalities don't stop here in Illinois. A vital skill in growing your FBLA presence and knowledge is networking nationally. Personally, this has also elevated FBLA for me as it has given me access to new opportunities and friends.
A common first step
By Halle Smith, State VP, South Western Area
As members of FBLA, we have many reasons to appreciate our organization. FBLA works to change the lives of students everywhere, helping them turn into business leaders, allowing them to gain many experiences, and most importantly, grow and develop as individuals. So what better way is there to show our appreciation of these benefits and allow other students to see them than by recognizing a week dedicated to FBLA and PBL?
Every year during the second week of February our organization recognizes “National FBLA-PBL Week.” This week gives Chapter members everywhere an opportunity to show their community what FBLA and PBL are all about. During this week it is important for Chapter members to plan different activities for each day and encourage all members to participate and complete them. Community service events are a big part of this week, but the activities can range from a variety of different events that specifically appeal to a Chapter.
There are many ways Chapters can utilize this week to get the most out of it. Chapters can spread the word about their organization and show others what it’s like to be involved by posting and sharing the activities that they complete on social media. They can also use this time to show advisor appreciation, because without advisors FBLA-PBL would not be possible. Career Awareness Day can also be recognized by Chapters during this week, they can invite alumni or local businesses to come in and speak.
National FBLA-PBL Week is a great opportunity for Chapters to spread their influence, invite new members, involve the community, participate in fun activities, and also show appreciation for their advisors. Go FBLA-PBL!!
How to Recruit Members
By Lalit Gurrapu , State VP, Central Area
With over 230,000 members, FBLA is an organization that exists solely because of its committed members that contribute to the growth of the organization as a whole. To continue growing this organization, it is imperative that we understand how to recruit new members to your local chapters.
To do this, I want you to brainstorm and think about why you love FBLA. FBLA is more than just a competitive event organization, think of what the organization has provided you with. Is it the opportunity to network, the opportunity to travel, the ability to develop skills through the BAA’s, the ability to compete, or the friendships you build throughout the organization? After you’re done brainstorming, list everything you thought of down. Now communicate your love for FBLA to others! Use your passion and voice to talk to your underclassmen friends and drive the points to why you love FBLA and what they might gain out of it. Use social media, your school’s club fairs, school newspaper, school announcements to push your message for their recruitment. Prospective members can sense how genuine you are when you are either giving your recruiting speech or they read that message in the school’s announcements, so it is important that you stay true to yourself and to why you love the organization, furthering the possibility of expanding your chapter with newer members.
By Callie McAdams, State VP, Western Area
One of the most enjoyable aspects of FBLA is the chapter activities. Each chapter has their own activities and traditions that they do. This means there are a variety of activity ideas that can be implemented into your own chapter. Here are some ideas to try out in your chapter.
● FBLA week is often filled with various festivities. Many chapters designate themes for each day so students can dress up and participate in celebrating FBLA week.
A few theme ideas include:
FBLA shirt day,
blue and gold day,
and sports day.
It’s great to include an activity as well. My chapter has a trivia day during FBLA week.
● Dodgeball tournament- My chapter hosts a dodge ball tournament every November to fundraise for March of Dimes. The majority of the school participates by signing up to play. Not only do FBLA members enjoy the activity but the whole school does.
● Movie night- Multiple chapters host a movie night social event. This is a good way for students to interact with each other.
There are a tremendous amount of possibilities for chapter activities. Take inspiration from other
chapters or get creative and make your own. The key to a successful event is to get members
involved and to be inclusive. Most importantly, have fun!