Twelve Make the Top 10 at FBLA State Competition

By Reese O’Brien, Staff Writer

Methacton’s Future Business Leaders of America club attended a state competition at the Hershey Lodge from April 8-10 to complete against more than 3,000 other high school students to compete in various business-related events. Twelve MHS students placed in the top 10 in their categories.  

FBLA is an organization dedicated to educating students about the ins and outs of different styles of business, including advertising and hospitality management. Most of the competition assessments involve multiple choice tests while others are presentation based. Students typically  prepare for their events by using practice tests, websites and quizlets. However, some events require different forms of preparation.

Junior Joanna Zheng, for example, had to submit an original video on the theme of “Giving Tuesday” before arriving in Hershey. While the video was judged beforehand, she was still evaluated on her presentation at the competition. Although she had technical difficulties, she earned second place in Digital Video Productions.

All participants who earned fourth place or above in their categories are eligible to compete at the national level. Out of the eligible Methacton students, Zheng and sophomore Jeffrey Gong have decided to  attend nationals in San Antonio during the summer. Gong scored fourth place in the Securities and Investments event.

Senior Amy Ouyan talked about the challenges posed by the state competition, saying that the presentation portion was the most difficult.

“We didn’t expect to qualify in the top 10 after the objective test,” she said, “so after we found out, we studied nonstop for the three hours before the presentation.” Nonetheless, she and her partners, Ashley Liu and Neha Vagvala, scored first place in the competition, defeating the rest of Pennsylvania in the Banking and Financial Systems category. Ouyang pointed out that there is always room for improvement:

“Even though we placed first in the state, we weren’t completely satisfied with the presentation and would have wanted to include more content.”

Junior Annie Zhang took third place in the Business Communications category.

“I studied a lot of grammar,” she said. “Many people don’t realize how important writing skills are in business.”

Zhang stressed that FBLA is a great way for students to apply their business knowledge outside of a traditional classroom setting. Participants have the chance to make connections with like-minded people and learn more about their passion.

“I got to meet a lot of smart and interesting people,” added Zhang.

FBLA will continue to run as a club next school year. Meetings will focus on fundraising for community organizations, particularly Team Children, which provides computers for disadvantaged youth. Students interested in becoming members should contact Mr. Gallagher at [email protected].