By Emma Sayers, Illinois FBLA State Vice President, Eastern Area
One of the most impactful effects of FBLA is the connections you build with others. But they can be intimidating. I want to give you some ways to grow your relationships with others by simply speaking and listening like a leader. When making a connection you may feel as if you want to explode with all this information about yourself. Try getting to know the other person first. Of course, introduce yourself properly with your name. After the introductions, be sure to listen to them. Find value in the words they say. Most people listen with the intent to reply. Instead, listen to understand. Enjoy this inspiration from Dr. Steven R. Covey's fifth Habit of Highly Effective Teens. “If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Your interactions with someone may be short or long. Either way, you should not decide prematurely what the other person means before they have finished communicating. Great leaders make others feel comfortable not intimated. I promise your connections with others will grow stronger when you seek to understand them first.
By Katie Bach, Illinois FBLA State Vice President, Southern Area
With the holiday, winter sports, organizations, as well as other activities throughout the winter months heading into second semester, your life may become slightly more hectic than normal so you’ll need to figure out what works best for you when attempting to manage your time wisely. Here are the dos and Don’ts of Time Management!
By Avani Rai, Illionis FBLA State Vice President, Central Area
Among the vast offerings that involvement with FBLA provides, Conferences often stand out as the highlight of many students' experiences. The opportunity to travel, make new friends, and learn about everything business and beyond is always something to look forward to. While most FBLA students are familiar with competitive conferences (Area, State, and Nationals,) FBLA typically hosts a few additional Conferences throughout the year as well—one of which is the National Fall Leadership Conference (NFLC). However, this year FBLA's NFLCs were farther away than in previous years, and many schools would be unable to take their students to attend. Thus, Illinois FBLA decided to host its own Illinois Fall Retreat!
In early November, 312 Illinois FBLA-ers and advisers from 16 chapters across the state united for a weekend of professional development, networking, and fun at the first-ever Illinois Fall Retreat hosted in Normal, Illinois. Attendees learned from phenomenal speakers, FBLA alum, and Illinois FBLA State Officers to develop a stronger understanding of the business world and get the "Conference experience." Don't let that fool you though—from a private Children's Discovery Museum experience to a late-night trip to Insomnia Cookies, the conference was filled with tons of activities with the purpose of pure fun as well!
So, what if you didn't have the opportunity to attend? Well, I've got some good news: moving forward IFR will become a staple of the Illinois FBLA experience, allowing more Illinois FBLA'ers than ever before to experience Conferences. Plans are to host the Conference around the same time period but shift the location between northern, central, and southern Illinois to ensure every student has an equal opportunity to attend and give our attendees a varied experience each year. Until then, stay involved with FBLA through your upcoming Area Conference so that you have the chance to qualify for the State and National Conferences this year. Also, be on the lookout for the annual Summer Leadership Workshop in late July. Every chapter has the opportunity to send a delegation of students to attend and take part in this great Conference as well!
By Sonika Tamilarasan, Illinois FBLA State Treasuer
Need more money for chapter social events or for travel expenses? Fundraising can help you out! However, when it comes to fundraising, it is vital to choose the right one, or it can end up eating the funds you already have. This article will cover a few tips and tricks when it comes to choosing the perfect fundraiser for your chapter.
Tip #1: Find a fundraiser that will suit you.
The first step in conducting any fundraiser is choosing the right one. If you are a larger chapter, you can fundraise with your members themselves, but if you are a smaller chapter, consider expanding to your school or even to outside businesses. Here are a few ideas that can potentially help you out:
Tip #2: Choose the right fundraiser company!
When deciding to do a selling fundraiser, don’t partner with businesses that require you to buy your fundraising items beforehand. This could potentially result in a loss. Additionally, ensure there are no additional costs for brochures and other advertising materials.
Tip #3: Choose the right items.
You don’t want to do a fundraiser for an item that won’t be popular. This could waste not only your money but also your time. Look at the list below for popular fundraiser items!
By Jahnavi Kolli, Illinois FBLA State Parliamentarian
Meetings are an integral part of every chapter in Illinois FBLA- after all, what is a chapter without frequent gatherings of people (the official parliamentary definition for a meeting)? Regardless of if it’s a chapter meeting or an officer meeting, it is important that everyone’s voice is heard while ensuring maximum efficiency. That is exactly where parliamentary procedures comes into play.
There are many simple parli rules that any chapter can incorporate, regardless of how informal one wants a meeting to be. Instead of interrupting each other, members can obtain the floor, which is the parli pro term for being called on by the president or adviser (known as the chair). They can then make a motion by saying “I move to…”, which is a way of bringing the new business, or new idea, to the meeting. After another member seconds, or acknowledges that the motion should be brought up, the motion is then debated.
For more tips on how to quickly become a parli pro, refer to Robert’s Rules of Order Simplified and the National Parliamentarian Council’s Instagram (@fblaparli). And if you were at the Illinois Fall Retreat this past November, you already know that parliamentary procedures is as easy as pie!
By Reventh Poondru, Illinois FBLA State Vice President, Central Northern Area
Competing at your area, state, and national level is an incredible experience and provides many future opportunities. This blog post will detail tips and tricks you should always keep in mind as you progress through your competitive events journey because they’ll allow you to succeed at all levels of competition.
Tip #1: Pick an event that you find enjoyable!
Tip #2: Practice! Practice! Practice!
Tip #3: Have Fun!
With these tips, you’ll be ready to succeed in the Competitive Events Series. We’ll see you at your respective area conferences, so be sure to say hello! If you’re not a senior, look into getting more involved with FBLA through board positions! If you are a senior, look for FBLA Collegiate chapters!
By Advait Rajmane
Illinois FBLA Reporter
Social media has become an inherent part of our lives. Every second there will be someone goofily sending a snap, mindlessly liking a post, or endlessly scrolling through the void of TikTok. Although the reliance we have on these platforms has its drawbacks, it is no surprise that their utilization has led to a very connected and efficient world.
Even with the rise of social media, networking consistently remains essential to forming relationships and building careers. Using a few simple techniques, we can expand the extent of our networks and acquire contact with professionals in their industry.
Using the FBLA network as an example, there are countless members and alumni that use Instagram or Linkedin to make and maintain connections with people around the country. They are able to connect with a multitude of individuals all from the comfort of their own bedrooms. To begin the networking process, start by sending a short introduction about yourself. Within that message, it is also helpful to include a commonality that you might have with the individual. Here is a quick example:
“Hey Yash, my name is Advait! I am the new State Reporter for Illinois FBLA. I saw that you were also a State Officer for Illinois FBLA, and I would like to connect with you to talk about any advice you have for an incoming State Officer.”
That’s it! Although intimidating, it is quite simple to take the initial step that will begin a connection which could last for life.
My final point is to remain safe online. Even though the benefits that come with the convenience of social networking outweigh the drawbacks, there will always be possible unintended consequences. To combat this, we can refrain from engaging with offensive posts/comments, maintain digital privacy where possible, and don’t do anything you wouldn't do in front of your parents! With all this in mind, you are ready to begin your network expansion.
Let's Grow Membership In The New Year
By Megan You
State Vice President from Southwestern Area
When wanting to grow member retention within your chapter, think of it this way: what made you want to stay in the first place? Was it the benefits of competing, traveling, and learning more about possible post-secondary success? Or was it the community service aspect and being able to make new friends?
Regardless of what it might be, use your passionate drive of the organization and place it within your fellow classmates/under their hearts. By doing this, it’ll not only make them realize how much they’re going to be gaining by joining, but they’re also going to share this light with others, ultimately creating a domino effect. Also efficiently utilizing social media, school broadcasting systems, newsletters/posters, and school-wide events can be just as successful as word-of-mouth.
Speaking from personal experience, my local chapter always balanced on the cusp of having a “good amount” of members, but not enough when being compared to larger chapters around the area. When being installed into my position as president, I used word-of-mouth heavily but also understood the power of social media. By posting my past memories of being at SLC/NLC along with my awards and scholarships, many classmates, both young and old, came and asked me where I got this experience from. From then on, we’ve held a strong balance of 60+ members, which is more than we could’ve asked for! By mentioning this, I hope you gained some form of knowledge as to how you can better gain more members for your chapter and to place higher goals for yourself!