Kaydee Gilson, Tyler Herrera and Ryan Cano of Carbon High School recently attended the FBLA National Leadership Conference from June 27-July 3 in Nashville, Tennessee. FBLA, which stands for Future Business Leaders of America, is an organization that prepares high school students to excel in the business world.
The students qualified to attend the National Leadership Conference after placing at the state competition. At the national competition, Gilson competed in the “Job Interview” event. She was interviewed before a panel of judges after submitting a resume, cover letter and job application months in advance. Herrera competed in the “Business Presentation” event, which required him to make a seven-minute presentation about the Affordable Care Act. Cano competed in the “Healthcare Administration” event by taking a one-hour competency test.
The students worked diligently to prepare for the competition by taking the suggestions of their state judges, though Advisor Terri Tubbs credits their greatest preparation to their entire high school careers.
“They took business classes for the past three years that gave them their background,” she said.
In addition to the competitive events, the conference also included a keynote speaker, a meeting with Utah competitors, instructive workshops, voting for national officers and on-stage recognition for high-performing students.
Gilson was one of those who received on-stage recognition. She was recognized for winning “Who’s Who in FBLA” for the state of Utah. She was recognized again for winning the “America Award.” Gilson earned this award by working her way to the highest level of the FBLA Business Achievement Program, an achievement she said took approximately 250 hours to complete.
In addition to attending FBLA activities, the students also had the chance to get a taste of Nashville by taking a cruise on the General Jackson Showboat, visiting Andrew Jackson’s home and plantation, walking downtown, touring Vanderbilt University and enjoying the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The students agreed that they had a great time at the conference and enjoyed the opportunities it afforded them.
“Going to nationals is a lot different than just being in Utah,” Gilson explained. “You get to network on an even higher level and meet people from other states.”
Hererra also enjoyed the experience. “I learned a lot of things that will help me when I go off to college,” he commented. “It was fun and educational at the same time. I really enjoyed it.”
Tubbs agreed that attending the national conference is a great opportunity.
“It gives them the confidence that they can compete no matter where they go,” she said.
The participants hope to continue applying what they learned at nationals to their futures. Gilson has been selected to serve as the PBL (collegiate-level FBLA) Webmaster for the state of Utah.