A few days of break during the middle of the school year is a welcome opportunity for any student. Then add in a business conference with schools across the state. And to top it off, throw in a decadent day at Hersheypark. In a nutshell, this sums up the UD Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference trip. The group participated in the conference from April 10 to 13 in the Hershey Lodge and Hershey Hotel. This year, the club brought one of its largest groups (58 out of 124 members) to the State Level Qualifiers, which was packed with a variety of activities.
On Sunday, members enjoyed a day at Hersheypark and Chocolate World upon arriving. From Fahrenheit to the Tilt-a-Whirl, this sugary day was a nice break from all the preparation for each participant’s event. Soon, it was showtime! Competitive events took place throughout Monday and Tuesday. There were performance events in which students had to create projects and present them to judges and objective tests for individuals or groups which usually consisted of one hundred questions on a certain topic. This year, members competed in test categories such as Business Procedures, Financial Math, and Business Communication. Those who were not competing at a certain time could spectate at performance events or attend workshops. The workshops were forty-five minute sessions where a speaker would teach a business related topic to eager listeners. Members were able to choose from a wide range of topics, including “Networking Skills,” “Secrets to Confidence,” and “The ‘Shark Tank’ Business Plan”. On Tuesday, in addition to events and workshops, open competitive tests were held as well. Students were permitted to take any of the provided twelve tests in topics such as current events, the Internet, Google Apps, and fashion marketing.
Finally, the conference was concluded at the closing ceremony where winners in competitive events and open competitive events were announced. Those who placed fourth place and above in their category were eligible to continue to the National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia from June 27th to July 3rd, 2016. This year Upper Dublin students took home 30 “Top Ten” awards including 13 First Places in the competitive events. In the open competitive events, UD took home 8 of the 30 “Top Ten” awards. This year, our National Qualifiers are Lexi Schneider, Eric Hu, Kevin Duan, Sennett Yang, Longan Loi, Dennis Li, Nina Cheng, Timmy Feng, Victoria Hoffner, Wookun Jeon, and Dustin Zhang. Looking back on the trip, Lexi Schneider (Grade 11) says, “SLC is a great opportunity to gain experience in the business world, to have fun with friends, and to dress up and feel professional. I had a lot of fun eating chocolate at Hershey Park and doing my presentation.” Lexi placed fourth in her Public Service Announcement event. Kevin Duan (Grade 10) also adds, “SLC was definitely a lot of fun, during the trip I was able to meet up with old friends that I had made last year and also meet new people. I’m pretty excited about Nationals and I’m hoping that I can do well again.” Kevin won first place in Investments and Stock Market, ninth in Economics, and first in the Spring LifeSmarts Competition and Fall Virtual Business Management Competition.
Congrats to all State participants and good luck to the National Qualifiers!