By Allison McGeehan
When I first joined FBLA three years ago, I had no idea how much of an impact it would have on my life. Just entering my freshman year of high school, I really didn’t know much about FBLA, other than the fact it was a club to add to my résumé, and it focused on business, a topic that I was beginning to think about pursuing in the future. Flash-forward to sophomore year when I participated in the competitive event of Business Communications and was fortunate enough to qualify to compete at both the State Leadership Conference in Hershey and the National Leadership Conference in Chicago. At this point, I was well aware of the benefits and opportunities being a member of FBLA provided me, not just in terms of business education, but in developing leadership qualities and having the opportunity to network with motivated students and professionals from around the country.
Noticing the positive impacts FBLA had on me personally, I was inspired in my junior year to help affect others in the same way by running for leadership positions within the organization. After being elected to serve as the MMI FBLA local chapter secretary, I began to imagine ways to better not just my school’s organization, but all of Pennsylvania FBLA. With the goal of helping other students have the same personal growth as I did through FBLA, I was inspired to begin a six-month process of running for the state office position of Pennsylvania FBLA State Reporter. The experience of running for this office was invaluable; I learned how to properly present myself in a candidate interview, balanced my schoolwork with countless pages of application paperwork, spoke in front of hundreds of voting delegates at the State Leadership Conference, and networked with thousands of PA students as I campaigned for their votes at my campaign booth.
Having won the election in April, I became a part of an officer team consisting of seven other amazing students, all passionate about FBLA. Our team works closely to keep strong ties and communication within Pennsylvania FBLA, set and reach both membership and fundraising goals, and lead statewide workshops and conferences. Specifically, as the state reporter, I edit and publish a quarterly newsletter that is released to all FBLA chapters within the state of Pennsylvania to keep all members informed and connected. Having competed at my second National Leadership Conference this past summer in Atlanta, Georgia, and placing 5th in the nation in the competitive event of Business Law, I am so excited to start my senior year as both an MMI FBLA member and as the 2016-2017 Pennsylvania State Reporter.
FBLA has become an integral part of my high school career, fostering a genuine interest in business that I plan to pursue in college, and instilling confidence, professionalism, and leadership skills within me. I encourage every student to join FBLA, something far more than “just a business club,” that has had such a positive impact on my life, and I am more than happy to talk with anyone about this great organization!