FBLA gets down to business

Members spend two days in Anaheim for an annual leadership conference.


Photo courtesy of Jodi Nguyen

FBLA students attended the Southern California Leadership Development Institute last month to educate new members.

Diamond Bar High School’s Future Business Leaders of America club attended the annual Southern California Leadership Development Institute, giving newer members a taste of what FBLA is about.

The two-day, non-competitive event in Anaheim took place from Oct. 27-28 and included  workshops addressing topics ranging from building leadership skills to marketing and branding.

According to junior Ryan Lou, the FBLA director of competitive events, the workshop that focused on branding used celebrities as examples.

“Let’s say Mark Zuckerberg, he has a personal brand,” Lou said. “Not only is he the founder of Facebook but he is a charitable person, giving to charities and such. They wanted to apply that to a smaller, more local sample, so they taught us on how to identify your strengths and weaknesses and how to pitch your ‘brand’ to a potential employer.”

As FBLA members attended the different workshops, seniors Co-President Karyn Real,  Co-President Aishwarya Rane and Vice President of Competitive Events Kenneth Chen led multiple workshops.

The workshops focused on how to increase productivity as well as how to improve computer science and business skills.

“I think that it’s a great opportunity for a lot of people, even if they don’t want to continue on with FBLA,” Real said. “If they just want to build their business skills, it’s a great introduction for them.”

In addition to workshops on self-improvement, LDI brought in keynote speaker Jake Kefler who spoke on motivating others through sharing life lessons and personal experiences.

“Every year, I learn new things from the keynote speaker,” Real said. “[This year] he focused a lot on persistence and about reaching goals.”

On the second day, the attendees took tests on different FBLA subjects to gain a better understanding of what the real FBLA competitions will be like, as well as to get a chance to gauge their competency in those areas.

Overall, FBLA members said they took this opportunity to grow as a group,  competitive-wise and relationship-wise.

“I thought it was really helpful and beneficial, especially now that I’m the president, not just a member,” Real said. “I focus a lot on my members and I think all of them had a great time. They all said they learned a lot. LDI and all the other FBLA conferences are where all of my most memorable experiences come from.”