Three students from Warren County have made great strides towards becoming America’s future business leaders.
Based on their performances at the Pennsylvania FBLA Leadership Conference this month, Macey Eyler, Christian Green and Mitchell Rossman have qualified for the national FBLA event to be held June 29-July 2 in Chicago.
“The FBLA helps high school students prepare for careers in business through academic competitions, leadership development, and educational programs,” according to the FBLA website.
The top four students in the various competition categories advance from the state event to nationals.
Warren County Career Center’s contingent at the state conference included 12 students: Eyler – first place in the job interview; Green — second place in human resource management; Rossman – fourth place in hospitality and event management; Madison Hamler and Sarah Tome — graphic design; Isabella Lyon—Sports and Entertainment Marketing; Kendra Chase and Paige Dexter — Entrepreneurship; Samuel Smith—Marketing; David Perry—Business Management; Halle McLaughlin—Marketing; and Addison Downor-Rice—Entrepreneurship.
The students were confronted with written tests, individual interviews and personalized role-playing scenarios.
Eyler finished in first place in his event and had to go through two separate interviews with different judges.
“I never thought I would be a state champion in something like job interviews, which require so much confidence and knowledge,” said Eyler. “The FBLA has been such a fun and rewarding experience. I am very grateful to the Warren County School District for providing such a great opportunity.
“It feels good to see the years of hard work paying off,” she says. “Between DECA, SKILLS, FBLA and Co-Op, I have gained so much that I am very grateful. I want to thank Mr. (Bob) Smith for teaching me so much business knowledge and pretty much the life in general.
Green’s challenge was strictly a written test that examined his knowledge of the workplace, from personnel management to regulations.
“If you don’t have a lot of experience in the workplace, (FBLA competition) elevates you to a professional level,” said Green. “It’s really a good experience to network and meet like-minded people.”
Although he is a state vice-champion in human resources management, he is undecided about his career path. The FBLA helps him make decisions – “It’s part of determining what I want to do.”
Rossman had prepared for one-on-one interviews and, through DECA, had experience in role-playing scenarios through the Career Center’s Professional Advisory Board.
During the conference, he had to think quickly.
“For my event, I had 20 minutes to come up with an answer to my prompt and then present it in front of five people, some were judges while others were spectators,” said Rossman. “It was very different from an individual interview and I had to adapt quickly to the change.”
The organizers stage the awards ceremony and ensure that there is suspense.
“When the award ceremony was held, they called the top 10 on stage and counted from tenth place to first place,” said Rossman. “Only the top four have the opportunity to compete in the Nationals event in Chicago.”
“It was incredibly nerve-wracking waiting to hear what place you get in front of over a thousand people,” he said. “I feel very lucky to have finished fourth in my event and I am proud of my colleagues for having done as well as them.”
“Overall I would describe the experience as fun yet productive and incredibly exhilarating,” he said.
Green is looking forward to nationals, but he’s going there with measured expectations, like he did with the state event.
“I hope to have a good experience” he said. “I didn’t think I would do badly, but I didn’t necessarily expect to win.”
Although he was not presented with any scripts, Green credited CAO members Michelle Betts and Dave Sherman for helping prepare him in this area.
“It was great to see these students flourish as they went through the Career Center,” said councilman Cathie Cummings. “Macey, Christian and Mitchell all excelled at FBLA and DECA. It was wonderful to see them place at state meet and I know they can all do well at nationals.
“I would especially like to thank my marketing professor, Ms. Cummings, for all that she has helped me over the past two years,” said Rossman. “I confidently believe that I would not have come close to moving forward without his help and dedication to our all success. I also thank the Career Center and WCSD for funding this trip and the trip to Chicago. I am anxious and excited to compete nationally for my event.
“I’m thrilled to be back training and going to Nationals with top advisors Ms. Cummings and Mr. Smith and my friends,” said Eyler.