CTE Student Profile: Jackson L.

How does the FBLA program prepare you to enter either college or a career?

FBLA has taught me about different aspects of business, leadership, and networking and has given me the passion I have today for business. Through state and national leadership conventions, workshops, presentations, competitive events, and the people I have gotten to know. FBLA has given me a college and career path that I am eager to pursue.

What academic subjects are important to your success in FBLA?

To succeed in FBLA, you need a good understanding of business and every academic subject can come into play in business. You need a good understanding of math to be able to handle the accounting aspects of business. You need English to effectively express your ideas to others and to create documents such as business plans and presentations. You need Government to understand what businesses are and are not allowed to do and History to understand what has and has not worked in the past. All of these academic subjects have been critical to my success in FBLA.

How do your FBLA courses and activities differ from your traditional high school courses and activities? Do you apply the theory you learned in your high school math and science courses?

My business courses differ from my typical academic courses because, where more traditional classes teach you broad concepts like algebra or world history, business classes teach you specific skills and ideas that you can apply to a career. In other classes, you might ask, "When are we ever going to use this?", but in business classes the answer is evident because they teach you things you need to know for a career in business.

What is the most exciting thing you have learned or have done in your CTE program?

In the summer after my sophomore year of high school, I went to the 2016 FBLA National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. In the months leading up to this, I competed at Regional and State conferences where I attended workshops and was able to gain insight into the world of business, but none of that came close to what I experienced at Nationals. In Atlanta, I listened to a lecture from the CEO of Yum! Brands (the company that owns many fast food businesses including Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut) about the importance of expressing appreciation for the hard work of your subordinates and co-workers. I attended workshops that taught me how to network effectively and discussed leadership. Also, I saw and learned about some amazing things in a different part of our country. By far, the most exciting and interesting thing I have done with FBLA is travel to Atlanta, Georgia for the National Leadership Conference.

How did you fit both your academic and FBLA courses into your schedule?

Sometimes it is difficult to fit both my academic and business courses in my schedule. Once, I actually had to drop another academic class that I also needed so I could make room for one of my business classes. It's not always easy; however, the business classes are very important to me, so I make it work.

What would you tell incoming freshman about FBLA?

First and foremost, I would try to explain to them what FBLA is and what it does. I didn't join FBLA until my sophomore year because, although it seemed interesting and I was really close to joining when I was a Freshman, I did not understand what FBLA was or what I would be doing if I joined. Once they joined, I would encourage them to do everything FBLA offers. I would tell them they should go to every meeting, volunteer for every community service event and fundraiser, and absolutely do not miss the opportunity to compete at the conferences. I'm a senior now and I can say with confidence that I have no regrets about all of the things I did with FBLA, but I do wish I had taken advantage of more of the opportunities I had while I was a member.