Not Your High School’s FBLA

Posted: October 24, 2023 12:00:00 AM CDT

Theresa Yaw, faculty advisor for Future Business Leaders of America Collegiate at UNK, wants to get the word out that “FBLA Collegiate is a lot different than FBLA High School” thanks to the variety of opportunities available for anyone interested in business. She has been in charge of the club since she started teaching economics at the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2016. She shares that FBLA Collegiate, formerly known as Phi Beta Lambda, has “been growing every year” which she attributes to the great students who have “been able to build some momentum.”

As an economics major, Yaw is “enthusiastic about developing leadership abilities in college students and exposing them to the FBLA Collegiate experience.” While she is careful to leave the “planning and execution” of the club’s activities to the officers, Yaw encourages everyone in the club to have fun while taking advantage of the opportunities offered. She believes students need “as much experience as they can get in college” because of the impact it will have on them as “business people in the real world.”A picture from National Championship in Atlanta

Being in FBLA Collegiate is “a really great experience” where students get a chance to network, compete, and practice getting in front of people. Yaw understands that “when it comes down to it, no matter what career you go into, there’s business” so she encourages anyone who has an interest in business or who wants to make business connections to get involved. Students do not have to be pursuing a degree in business to get something out of FBLA Collegiate. In fact, students don’t even have to be members to attend meetings.

The club usually meets in West Center once a month, but it’s not unusual for them to decide to hang out in a more casual atmosphere such as Brewed Awakenings. A typical meeting might consist of discussing club business, listening to a guest speaker who is a local business leader, or taking a tour of one of the many businesses around Kearney. Past tours have included visits to Viaero Center, the local hospital, Nest:Space, and the World Theatre.

In addition to on-campus opportunities, FBLA Collegiate students have the chance to compete at both the state and the national level. Students can compete in 65 different events. At the state level, they compete against any college or university in Nebraska that has its own FBLA Collegiate chapter. UNK’s chapter has “grown consistently” with 13 of last year’s 15 members competing at the state conference with nine going on to compete at the national level. UNK was awarded the Excellence Award for a Four-Year Institution for the second year in a row this past year with one student receiving the Member of the Year award. The FBLA National Leadership Conference in Atlanta last year resulted in eight students finishing in the top five and four landing at number one.A group picture after winning national championship in Atlanta

Yaw shares that this competition “gives them a chance to compete at a very high level” because “they’re competing against the best business students from all over the country.” In addition to preparing for competition, students also attend workshops, listen to speakers, and network with business students from all over the country. She believes that it is an experience her students will remember “for a very long time.”

Theresa Yaw would encourage any UNK student to “get involved in campus activities” because she knows that “these four years of (their) life” are priceless. Her advice is to “make sure you make the most of them.” Since FBLA Collegiate involves networking, travel opportunities, and the chance to build relationships with other students, she hopes any student interested in business will choose to take advantage of the connections offered by this club.

Anyone interested in learning more about UNK’s FBLA Collegiate can visit them on Instagram.

By: Sandy Brannan

Category: Marketing, Business and Technology, General, Entrepreneur

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