Rancocas Valley FBLA members compete in regional competitions

RV’s team placed in a number of categories across the board

Maham Zulfiqar, News Writer

Through the week of December 14-17, the members of RV’s Future Business Leaders of America club competed in the FBLA Regional Competitions. 

Founded in 1937, FBLA is a club focused on preparing students to become successful future business leaders through community service, competitions, leadership opportunities and more. The organization is composed of more than 196,950 members nationwide and has chapters in over 5,200 American high schools. 

The annual Regional Competitions are a key part of the organization. Students select a “competitive event” that they would like to compete in, such as Journalism, Accounting and Economics and then take a test on that subject matter.

Senior and FBLA Vice President Emily Paulin describes how she chooses her competitive event. “Normally, I choose the event that is interesting and that I want to learn more about,” Paulin said. “This year, I picked an event that I thought I would do well in. I picked Business Communications because it is a lot of grammar and simple editing, common sense things.”

Regional competitive events can also help one determine what they would like to pursue as a career. As a four-year member, Paulin has been able to experiment in different fields of study and narrow down what she can and cannot envision herself doing for a living. “Last year, for example, I did Accounting, and after that I definitely will not become an accountant,” she said.

Preparing for competitive events is as simple as studying for a test in an academic course such as science or history. “I used Quizlet and the FBLA test frenzy website which has past tests that you can use to practice,” Paulin said.

Members also help each other out, using resources created by FBLA alumni. “Someone who had previously competed and has graduated RV left a binder full of notes and study tools such as quizzes and Quizlet tests for other people to use,” senior and FBLA treasurer Kaitlyn Lum stated. “I, along with another competitors, used this study guide and both qualified for states.”

Taking an online test no different than an academic exam may seem boring from an outsider’s perspective, however  many say it is worth it in the end. Students who place top in regionals qualify for the statewide competition and are invited to the State Leadership Conference, and those who place top in states qualify for the national competition and are invited to the National Leadership Conference. 

Senior and FBLA President Vivian Bui mentioned the thrill of qualifying for state and national competitive events. “Hearing your name called at a conference is amazing,” Bui said. “Winning at a National Conference was an amazing experience. My chapter and I were anxiously waiting for the results and when we didn’t hear our names called for 8th place, we thought we had not placed at all. To our surprise, we placed first.” 

The FBLA officers gave tips for those who may be interested in competing in the FBLA competitions in the following years. “The best advice I can offer for someone competing for the first time is to study or prepare as much as possible and be ready for any question,” Bui stated. She mentioned that you never know what might come up, so it is best to prepare using as many resources as you can find.

Paulin emphasized choosing a topic that interests you, “because it will make studying and learning about it much easier,” she said. “That way, they can also decide whether they’re still interested in it afterward.”

Treasurer Lum recommends studying with fellow members to gain new friendships and ease the preparation process. “I would definitely recommend studying with your friends, especially those who are in your event,” she said. “It is also a great way to meet new people, so don’t be afraid to ask someone if they want to study.”

A number of RV FBLA members placed in their categories, including Paulin (First Place for Business Communications), Bui (Second Place for Journalism) and Lum (First Place in Future Business Leaders).