The Impact of FBLA on Your College Career

How can FBLA prepare you for college and for your career? Just ask New Jersey PBL State Vice President Jason Lim. Jason has used his experiences and skills from FBLA at the high school and college levels to succeed as a student and as a collegiate state officer. Even today while in college, Jason is still learning valuable business skills and values from FBLA that he plans on utilizing in his professional career. Here, Jason shares his insight on how FBLA has helped him and continues to help him in his endeavors.

 

What skills did you learn from FBLA while in high school?

Jason:  Adaptability (from unexpected problems when organizing events), definitely public speaking/presenting (talking in front of meetings and competing in presentation events), organization (in preparing for competitive events and for organizing events), patience (I do believe that this is a very important skill, and I learned this from dealing with a few “less-motivated” co-members), and leadership (in being tasked with directing underclassmen when preparing for an event).

What new skills have you learned from FBLA-PBL at the college level?

Jason: Leadership (to a much greater extent, from dealing with large tasks [such as creating community service projects for the state] to making sure conferences run smoothly [i.e. our State Fall Leadership Conferences and State Leadership Conferences]), time management (juggling the many responsibilities I was given plus my engineering course-load and my social life), patience (to a MUCH greater extent, dealing with plenty of unmotivated/reluctant members and co-staff), public speaking (to a much greater extent, from speaking at various events in crowds ranging from a personable 15 to a large crowd of hundreds),  approachability (learning how to interact to a wide variety of members from across the state in a unique and appropriate manner), professional communication (by this I mean being able to type up an appropriately professional email to a head of a large corporation or organization [such as Operation Shoe Box or Enterprise Rent-a-Car]), and most importantly being able to learn from failure. I can't stress enough how important this is. As someone who has been given many tasks all at once, I can say that failure came quite a few times. However, I am very proud that I can now pick myself back up and not make the same mistake again.

How have these skills and experiences from FBLA in high school and college helped you as a current college student and as a future professional?

Jason: These skills have been instrumental in how I deal with stress that comes from taking on so many challenges. It is very surprising how many lessons I have learned as State Vice President and just as a member of PBL are applicable to the problems I face on an everyday basis. I have learned not to give up when a physics problem is taking more than 3 pages because of the persistence I have learned from organizing a statewide community service event! When I have to give a presentation to my class or speak in front of an interviewer, I have much more confidence in knowing that this will never be as nerve-racking as presenting what my group and I think of what business ethics is in front of judges at my first NLC. And how can I be afraid to take on the task of someday leading fellow environmental enthusiasts and scientists in pioneering ideas on renewable energy if I have already lead a group of hundreds to a smooth SFLC despite equipment failure and other unforeseen problems? It's hopefully obvious now that FBLA-PBL graciously gives its members life-skills that transcend the classroom and the weekly or bi-weekly chapter meetings that you may attend. This organization allows us to grow as individuals while making a positive impact on our communities, a symbiosis of goals that is unparalleled in student run organizations.

Is there one specific example where the skills you learned from PBL helped you achieve something?

Jason: One example would be landing and maintaining my research assistant position to the project that I am currently helping work on. From sending the initial email to the professor, to talking in the following one-on-one meeting, to balancing the various tasks assigned to me in a short amount of time, the skills and experiences that I gained from being in FBLA-PBL were pivotal.