By GURLEEN KAUR, ’14
After several weeks of intense preparation, members of the JP Stevens Future Business Leaders of America headed out to the FBLA State conference at the Hilton Hotel in East Brunswick on March 14. The days before the conference were spent in preparation for competitions in various subjects such as accounting, cyber security, and database applications and design. All of the work paid off in the end; as described by Rangasri Ramji, senior, “You realize that the experience of going to States, getting closer to the people that you never before associated yourself with, and feeling yourself burst into joy whenever you hear the words ‘John P. Stevens’ makes up for all the morning meetings, study sessions, and infamous Gertrude Hawk fundraisers throughout the year.”
At the beginning of January, the FBLA members competed at Regionals against participants from other high schools. Members who placed high enough advanced to States. At the State Leadership Conference, students competed in events testing their business knowledge and skills. Top winners from States are now eligible to compete for national awards at the National Leadership Conference this upcoming summer.
Members also had a chance to make new friends as they met people from around the state who shared a common interest in business and leadership. And after all the seminars, competitions, and events, the members danced away to the music at the State Leadership Conference Dance.
Two days filled with fun and learning came to a close as many FBLA members returned to Edison with trophies and medals. Chirag Lal, freshman, won 1st place in Database Design and Applications, which tested skills in table relationships, and Secretary Reeham Tahsin, senior, received the Gold Member Award while Presidential Advisor Anmol Mittal, senior, received the Gold Officer Award. Anmol Mittal described his experience with FBLA by saying, “I am honored to be part of this organization, and I have the utmost respect for the members who participated at States.”
The FBLA-ers, though exhausted by the commitment and dedication they put into the conference, were satisfied with the end results. The convention proved to be a great way to enhance business and leadership skills. Reeham Tahsin, senior, expressed, “Whether it’s enhancing public speaking skills, learning how to network efficiently, or simply having fun with the great friends I’ve made in this club, States is the ideal place for it all. This conference is one of the things I’ll miss the most when I graduate this year.”