by Ellie Kim, secretary.
In middle and high school, many of us are trying to find what we are passionate about and how we can build relationships with the people around us. These wants are precisely why FBLA is the perfect organization for many students around the nation. FBLA provides so many opportunities for its members to explore themselves and grow into future business leaders, but it may be difficult to know where to start from competitive events to leadership positions to champion chapters. Whether you are a new member or a veteran member, this article will teach you 5 ways you can grab hold of these opportunities and maximize your time in FBLA.
1. Competing in Competitive Events
Competitive events are a way for students to put their practical knowledge into practice and receive recognition while traveling the nation. With over 70 different events and topics ranging from broadcast journalism to business law to healthcare administration, there is so much space for members to explore what they are interested in. The different types of events are objective tests, production tests, presentation events, and case study events. You can compete as an individual, team, or chapter.
List of Events: https://www.fbla.org/divisions/fbla/fbla-competitive-events/
2. Running for Office
FBLA elevates its students and pushes them to not only grow in the organization but also be a platform that elevates other members. There are multiple levels of leadership: local, area, state, and nationals. Each level has a different way of electing its leaders from applications to speeches to campaign booths. If you are someone who is interested in serving and using your FBLA knowledge to build up the members, start by looking into the requirements for campaigning in the level for which you are applying. There are many different positions that one can run for depending on the level they are applying for. Not only do these positions teach you how to become a stronger leader, but they also allow you to network with many others who are passionate about FBLA.
3. Participating in National Programs
FBLA has a multitude of National Programs such as its partner programs, BAAs, Champion Chapters, and FBLA Week. Because there are so many national programs, below is a list of them along with links with more information about that program.
Partner Programs: FBLA has partnered with organizations like Equedi, Intuit, Lead4Change, LifeSmarts, The Stock Market Game, and Knowledge Matters to give students the opportunity to use their knowledge to invest in stocks, build online profiles, design solutions to real world problems, and more! For more specifics on each organization and their program, click on this link: https://www.fbla.org/divisions/fbla/fbla-education/.
Business Achievement Awards (BAAs): There are four levels of the BAAs: Contributor, Leader, Advocate, and Capstone. These levels go in steps, starting from learning more about FBLA and leadership, then developing business skills, and finally designing a project to address a real-world problem. To complete the BAAs, go to your account on FBLA Connect.
Champion Chapter: Champion Chapter consists of 5 seasons: Summer Starter, Shaping Success, Service Season, CTE Celebration, and Champion Plus. Each of these consist of membership engagement activities to grow your chapter. As you complete each activity, you gain points to be able to complete seasons, gain recognition, and receive items from ribbons, banners, publications, and plaques. For more information on Champion Chapter, click on this link: https://www.fbla.org/divisions/fbla/fbla-membership/.
FBLA Week: Think of FBLA Week like your school’s spirit week but so much bigger. Each year, the National Board sets themes for each day of the week to encourage you to promote FBLA in your chapter, school, and so much more. Each day has specific activities along with the Goosechase challenge before and during FBLA week for your chapter to participate in.
4. Engaging in Conferences
Each FBLA Conference has so much to offer its members from energetic guest speakers (like our favorite Patty Hendrickson) to college exhibit booths to networking opportunities with members around the world. At this upcoming National Leadership Conference, members have the opportunity to trade pins, travel throughout Orlando, and visit booths of nonprofits, businesses, and colleges. Wherever you are and whatever FBLA conference you are attending, I encourage you to try as many things offered as you can to truly engage in the conference.
5. Building Relationships Around the World
FBLA is a family, and this is only possible if you get to know the people in it. Start with your chapter. Do your best to attend the social events and connect with people you don’t know. At conferences, try reaching out to people attending the same workshop as you or sitting behind you at the general session. Connect with people on Instagram! You will be sure to find many people with FBLA specific accounts! Because of the great magnitude of people in FBLA, you are sure to find people who have similar interests and passions as you do. You will also be inspired by people who have very different passions to you, and that is the beauty of this organization!
There is so much more that FBLA has to offer that cannot be summed up into one article. Looking at competitive events, leadership positions, national programs, conferences, and networking, you are just hitting the surface. I hope that this is a reminder to you how amazing this organization is and inspires you to go out and take hold of these opportunities!
For more information on everything FBLA, visit the FBLA High School 101 Toolkit: https://www.fbla.org/media/2023/05/FBLA-High-School-101-Toolkit.pdf.
For more information on how to grow your chapter, visit the Chapter Success Starters toolkits: https://www.fbla.org/media/2023/08/Success-Starters-Guides.pdf.