Eleven students from the College of Business Administration participated in competitions at Phi Beta Lambda’s (PBL) National Leadership Conference, “Get the Edge,” attended by more than 1,700 college students from across the country. Jose Betancourt, president of the Florida International University (FIU) chapter of PBL and Florida PBL state secretary took first place in public speaking, besting 70 competitors and netting a $750 award.
“Several of the competitions had sponsors and yielded cash awards—some to individuals, some to chapters,” he explained.
His was courtesy of Dale Carnegie Training. The financial analysis and decision-making competition, in which Lindsey Washington placed fifth, and the local chapter business report competition, in which the FIU chapter placed third, also received cash awards.
The other students—several placing second or third and all at least eighth—were Louis Castillo, Chris Cuan, Briana Huggins, Megan Lee, Lance Misztal, Theodore Mook, Sherene Thomas and Danielle Whiting. Yanyn San-Luis was named a Who’s Who in PBL 2008-2009 recipient for Florida.
“We were watching the live broadcast of the National Awards Program that evening, and every time they called FIU up to the stage, we couldn’t cheer enough,” said Abdel Perera, founding president of the FIU chapter. “When we won third place in the nation in the annual business report, I knew that the hard work from the previous year had paid off.”
Conference provides professional development.
In addition to various competitive events, the conference, which took place in Anaheim, California from June 20-23, 2009, included approximately 10 workshops a day, such as one on networking. Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from keynote speaker, business guru Frank Maguire.
“He motivated us with his inspiring speech about his own experiences at FedEx, KFC, Project Headstart and the Special Olympics,” Betancourt said.
Earlier this year, the college’s chapter was named Florida Phi Beta Lambda Chapter of the Year at the State Leadership Conference, held in March in Tampa, Florida. The organization retains Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), the parallel high school organization, in its name so incoming FIU students will recognize the group, and also to distinguish it from a fraternity.