Students compete in university’s first-ever Business Olympics.

In today’s challenging economy, the need to distinguish oneself from the competition has taken on a new urgency. To help business students adapt, the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) chapter at Florida International University (FIU) held the 1st Annual Business Olympics on January 22, 2010. The day-long competition, which combined both written exams and performance events, gave the 50 participating students the chance to test their competencies in critical business areas, such as ethics, cyber security, management analysis and decision making, public speaking and financial concepts. The event also featured a networking area enabling students and company representatives to meet informally.

Business Olympics committee members greet and assist students with the registration process. Sitting down from left to right: Christina Rodriguez, Laura Alonso, Megan Lee; standing: Sergio Garrido

Participants represented major business organizations on campus, including the American Marketing Association, the International Business Honor Society, the FIU Accounting Association, the Finance and Management Association and Alpha Kappa Psi, which was named “Outstanding Organization of the Year” based on its first-place score in the competition. Judges included staff from both the university’s Career Services Office and the College of Business Administration’s Career Management Services as well as recruiters from top corporations including Target, Enterprise Holdings and Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG). Judge Paula Hopkins, regional sales director for PBG, received a plaque acknowledging the company for its sponsorship of the event.

During the “Job Interview Performance Event,” Paola Valverde, submits the appropriate documentation to judges from left to right: Elise Rodriguez, administrative coordinator, Career Management Services; Sammi Rosin, assistant director, Career Management Services; and Victor Rota, Target campus recruiter.

Competition provides students with recognition, recommendations.

Bruno Cevallos, a reporter for FIU’s FBLA-PBL chapter, emphasizes that “participation in the Business Olympics gives students a chance to demonstrate their skills and talents in front of people with hiring power.”

FBLA-PBL member David Sanchez, back row, and two other competitors take part in the morning session of written examinations.

An additional benefit according to him, is the opportunity for students to measure “their relative standing” in comparison to their peers and with regard to educational benchmarks established by the college through its curricula.

Winners from business organizations and several individual winners with the FBLA-PBL executive board
Winners from business organizations and several individual winners with the FBLA-PBL executive board

“This event is a great opportunity for students to learn about their strengths and the things they need to work on,” he said.

The event also served as an incentive for students to learn more about the advantages of FBLA-PBL membership explained Jose Betancourt, president of the FIU chapter.

Pepsi Bottling Group sponsored the inaugural Business Olympics at FIU.
Pepsi Bottling Group sponsored the inaugural Business Olympics at FIU.

The Olympics is modeled on a framework developed by the national FBLA that highlights competition as a vehicle for building the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the business field.

Final standings and medal count
(high resolution graphic available here)

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