Thanks to a state victory that garnered 24 medals for the Mihaylo College Phi Beta Lambda team, the group advanced to the 2013 National Leadership Conference. The competition was held in Anaheim and ran from June 22 to 25. It was there that 11 of the 15 representatives were able to come home with a trophy, and the Mihaylo team placed in eight of the 10 events in which they competed.
Considering that the conference was national, with many states being represented by several schools, these placings are more impressive than they may sound, and thus more competitive.
For this particular group of students, it was everything from fun and exciting to stressful and challenging. But for one member, Jonathan Vu, the conference “was anything but relaxing.”
However, despite saying that the conference was worse than finals week (something that every CSUF student can relate to), Vu and his teammate Yvonne Nguyen managed not only to place in the top 10, but take second in two separate events: HR Management and Small Business Plan.
These are just two of the several accomplishments for the PBL team, but for Vu this conference helped him cross a couple of items off of his college bucket list.
“I had only two things that I wanted to do within my college career,” says Vu. “Graduate and compete in nationals.”
But not everyone felt the same type of anxiety as Vu. Kevin McNulty, president of Future Business Leaders of America- PBL, thought that it was a fun conference that offered useful workshops and wonderful networking opportunities.
McNulty placed second in the Project Management event.
Other Phi Beta Lambda students representing Mihaylo College also earned awards in the competition: Christine Cabotaje placed 10th in Marketing Concepts; Ravin Kalugampitiya and Kasra Khalilifar placed seventh in Economic Analysis and Decision Making; Stephanie Mendoza, Robin Parisi and Alicia Vallejo together took 10th place in Business Ethics; Minh Nguyen placed 10th in Hospitality Management; and Tiffany Perez placed 10th in Business Communication.
Competition may have been what the 2013 conference was about, but regardless of how students placed, the event seemed to bolster the desire to come back and compete again as well as deepen the camaraderie between students from across the nation.
“I was excited to meet other Phi Beta Lambda members from around the nation,” says Mai Vy Nguyen, marketing major. She competed in the Integrated Marketing Campaign event with Julie Pham and Brianna Ayala.
Nguyen also gave credit to co-president Tiffany Perez for helping them along the way.
“We wouldn’t have made it to nationals if she didn’t help us with our presentation,” she adds.
Nguyen, along with her CSUF teammates, qualified to compete at nationals by placing in the top two at the state level competition against other PBL chapters within California.
According to McNulty, the number of events that students could participate in had to be limited, even if they qualified for more than one event.
“Each member was allowed to compete in two events at the national level to allow for more representatives from California to compete,” McNulty says.
This decision allowed the state of California to place in 32 events out of a possible 50, with a total of 47 trophies. Many of the students consider this a huge accomplishment for the group, especially considering the sheer size of the conference.
For a recap of the Mihaylo College Phi Beta Lambda team and their exciting weekend at nationals, take a look at this video.