What FBLA Teaches that School Doesn’t: Networking

We have all been in this situation — you sit in your chair, unable to stand up or make eye contact with anyone besides the handful of friends around you. You are in the middle of an FBLA conference, a hub that fosters great opportunities to learn, communicate, and build bonds with other fellow members. However, anxiety and inexperience has gotten the best of you, and you wait till the next event is announced, till someone approaches you, till you are given instructions.

Obviously this scenario doesn’t apply to all of us, but such fears are generally experienced by members, especially during the first several conferences they attend. These situations allow FBLA members to adapt and develop the sacred skill of networking.

Schools assume that students will go out into the world and figure out how to network themselves, but mastering this skill takes time. While regular high school students still have years to experience such professional environments, FBLA members have the convenience of starting from freshman year. The learning curve of networking will already be surpassed by most FBLA members by the time they transition to college. But why does this matter?

Networking is arguably the most important skill for any profession. According to a study, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. The greater your social network is, the higher chance you have of success in career and life.

Links that are made in FBLA can flourish into long-term bonds of friendship, cooperation, and guidance. Because the reality is that we will all go our separate paths and discover our own unique passions. Specialization makes us all stronger when we can cover each other’s strengths and weaknesses in time of need.