FBLA competes in a national-level conference

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Diamond Bar High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competed in the National Leadership Conference (NLC) during the summer break.

Senior president Laura Zhang and junior vice president Natalie Zhou were two of the five DBHS students skilled enough to compete in this year’s annual competition in Chicago, Illinois—with Zhou ultimately placing second in Introduction to Business Communications. 

“Since the two previous years were online and it’s rare to travel so far away to Chicago, I decided to go,” Zhang said.

To qualify for NLC, students had to first compete and place tenth in regionals and fourth in state competitions in order to advance. In the NLC competition itself, students then took either objective tests, which consisted of 100 questions answered in a timeframe of 60 minutes, or performance tests, where tasks varied depending on their respective categories.

“You have a list of competencies that they test you on,” Zhang said. “To study for that, you just look at textbooks, there’s Quizlets online, and then they also have practice tests for you.”

According to Zhou, besides competitions and events, NLC is also a leadership conference where students are able to network and connect with people from other states. They also take part in workshops presented on leadership skills, business skills and new software that can be used for implementing business education for students. The four days of the NLC convention are spent taking part in competitions and attending workshops.

These competitions and workshops not only allow students to win awards and learn more about business, but they also give students numerous opportunities to connect and network with other FBLA members on an international scale—heightening the possibility of future collaborations and projects.

“Personally, I wanted to get to know people for the sake of leading the club this year. So I wanted to get resources and connections with people, so that we can have collaborations,” Zhang said. “It’s also just to get to know people in general and get to know what they do in their FBLA chapters.”

Going into the new school year and prepping for this year’s NLC provides FBLA members with the chance to plan ahead for their objective and performance tests as well as decide which events and awards they want to accomplish. While working toward recruiting more FBLA members, they’re currently developing a resource database to aid new-coming members study for NLC. According to Zhou, for many, it’s often difficult to figure out where and how to start studying for the objective and performance tests. 

“Hopefully, they’ll know how to start off studying. I feel like some people, they’re like, ‘I don’t know how to study for this event or how to get started,’” Zhou said. “So hopefully that’ll be a nice resource for those who are competing this year.”