Catawba College students have shown again that they are among the top business students in the nation. This after three students from Catawba's Ketner School of Business (KSOB) earned a second place finish in marketing at the June 24-27th Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Ga.
Two other students from KSOB earned a top 10 finish in the accounting competition and all six Catawba students attending the conference made it to the final rounds in their respective events. They were among approximately 2,000 students from virtually all states participating in the conference which included competitions and workshops.
The six students who qualified for the national competitive events did so after their placement at the N.C. State PBL Conference in Charlotte in April. Dr. Pamela Thompson, PBL faculty advisor and Catawba associate professor of business & information systems, accompanied the students to Atlanta, where they had the opportunity to compete, network and attend leadership and career workshops. Dr. Thompson also served as a competitive event judge at the conference. Students attending included:
Recent 2016 graduates Morgan King (PBL President '15 –'16) and Melissa Edwards (PBL Vice President '15 –'16). Morgan competed in Project Management and Melissa competed in Cost Accounting and Professional Accounting. Both earned top 15 finishes.Rising seniors and PBL officers for '16 –'17 Lauren Hardison (President), Andrew Chambers, Ashlee McNabb and Mary Scott Norris. Lauren and Andrew won 10th place in Accounting Analysis and Decision Making, and Andrew, Ashlee and Mary Scott won 2nd place in Integrated Marketing Campaign with their original project "PBL Clothing Closet." Mary Scott also qualified for national competition in Marketing Concepts and Lauren competed in Computer Concepts.
While in Atlanta, students also toured CNN, Coca-Cola and attended an Atlanta Braves game.
"Phi Beta Lambda allows our students to grow as future business professionals--connecting classroom theory with hands-on reality" stated Dr. Thompson. "I was delighted to accompany these exceptional students to the national conference and am proud of their accomplishments. All six made it to the final rounds of their respective competitions and this reflects positively on our entire business program. Participation in PBL allows our students to grow both professionally and personally."
KSOB students shared the following comments about their participation in the National Leadership Conference:
"PBL has taught me an endless amount of both networking and social tools through the many different opportunities this club has to offer. Presenting the PBL Clothing Closet in the Integrated Marketing Campaign taught me how to market a new idea, build self-confidence in public speaking, and carry myself in a professional manner. I can't wait to see what Phi Beta Lambda holds for the 2016-2017 academic year. It is definitely a club for all business students; you won't leave empty handed!" shared Ashlee McNabb '17.
"While attending the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, I was given the privilege to compete in my favorite academic subject, accounting. By competing, I was able to grow my knowledge in the subject outside of the classroom, which is so valuable to do before entering the field professionally. Additionally, one of the most rewarding aspects of this conference was being able to further connect with my PBL club-mates while also networking with other Phi Beta Lambda members, advisors, and professionals from across the country. This opportunity was invaluable. I hope that every member of Phi Beta Lambda has the opportunity and ambition to attend this event at least once in their college career," said Melissa Edwards '16.
"FBLA-Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conferences are so much more than just the competitions as students gain experience in many areas. I have had the privilege to attend two leadership conferences, one in Chicago last summer and this year in Atlanta. Attendance at these conferences increased my self-confidence and confidence in our PBL chapter at Catawba College. I can't wait to see what is in store for next year's conference. I plan to become a Professional Division member and continue my involvement with our chapter at Catawba and with state PBL," explained Morgan King '16.
"I was hesitant about agreeing to compete in the PBL State competitions, but I am so glad that I let Morgan talk me into going. If I hadn't let her talk me into it then I would not have competed at the National Leadership Conference in Atlanta. This trip was so much better than I could have imagined! From the vast experience I gained from competing, presenting, and networking at the conference to the fun I had exploring the city, this trip was definitely something I'm glad I did not miss out on. Overall I am so glad I got the chance to have this experience and grow closer to my friends in PBL!" commented Andrew Chambers '17.
"Being a part of PBL at Catawba and presenting our project at the state and national competition has helped me in more ways than I can count. It has given me the opportunity to see what is involved in starting a small online business. Additionally, I have been able to put what I have learned in my Integrated Marketing and Communications classes into action, and I have developed confidence in myself through public speaking and presentations. I highly recommend joining PBL to anyone who is majoring in business. I believe that being in PBL has made me more marketable and provided me with different opportunities that will be beneficial when it comes to applying for jobs after graduation," said Mary Scott Norris '17.
"I'm grateful to have the opportunity to travel to Atlanta with Phi Beta Lambda. Nationals gave us a chance not only to connect our education to the real world, but to explore a new city and make memories that will last a lifetime!" concluded Lauren Hardison '17.
KSOB students have won a total of four national awards over the past two years. Future Business Leaders of America/Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. (FBLA-PBL) is the premier student business organization in the world. Each year, FBLA-PBL helps over 230,000 members prepare for careers in business and business-related fields. The PBL National Leadership Conference provides college students with the opportunity to develop leadership and professional skills by networking with business professionals, competing in business related events, giving presentations, and attending workshops.