Apr 27, 2022
Photo submitted to Times Observer Warren County Career Center students (from left) Mitchell Rossman (fourth place, hospitality and event management), Macey Eyler (first place, job interview), and Christian Green (second place, human resource management) advanced from the Pennsylvania FBLA Conference to the National Championships to be held at the end of June in Chicago.
Three Warren County Students have taken big steps toward being Future Business Leaders of America.
Based on their performances at the Pennsylvania FBLA Leadership Conference this month, Macey Eyler, Christian Green, and Mitchell Rossman have advanced to the FBLA National Event to be held June 29 through July 2 in Chicago.
“FBLA helps high school students prepare for careers in business through academic competitions, leadership development, and educational programs,” according to the FBLA website.
The top four students in the various competition categories advance from the state event to nationals.
The Warren County Career Center contingent to the state conference included 12 students: Eyler — first place in Job Interview; Green — second place in Human Resource Management; Rossman — fourth place in Hospitality and Event Management; Madison Hamler and Sarah Tome — Graphic Design; Isabella Lyon — Sports and Entertainment Marketing; Kendra Chase and Paige Dexter — Entrepreneurship; Samuel Smith — Marketing; David Perry — Business Management; Halle McLaughlin — Marketing; and Addison Downor-Rice — Entrepreneurship.
Students faced written tests, one-on-one interviews, and custom role-playing scenarios.
Eyler finished in first place in her event, and had to go through two separate interviews with different judges.
“I never thought I would be a state champion in something like job interviewing, which takes so much confidence and knowledge,” Eyler said. “FBLA was such a fun and awarding experience. I’m very grateful for Warren County School District to offer such a great opportunity.”
“It feels good to see the years of hard work pay off,” she said. “Between DECA, SKILLS, FBLA, and Co-Op, I have gained so much that I am very thankful for. I want to thank Mr. (Bob) Smith for teaching me so much business knowledge and just about life in general.”
Green’s challenge was strictly a written test that looked at his knowledge of the workplace from managing staff to regulations.
“If you haven’t had much experience in the workplace, (FBLA competition) elevates you to a professional level,” Green said. “It’s really good experience to network and meet like-minded people.”
Although he is a state runner-up in human resource management, he is undecided on a career path. FBLA is helping him make decisions – “it’s part of figuring out what I want to do.”
Rossman had prepped for one-on-one interviews and through DECA had experience in role-playing scenarios thanks to the career center’s Occupational Advisory Committee.
At the conference, he had to think quickly.
“For my event, I had 20 minutes to come up with an answer to my prompt, and then present it in front of five people, some were judges while others were spectators,” Rossman said. “It was very different from a one-on-one interview, and I had to quickly adapt to the change.”
The organizers make a production out of the awards ceremony and make sure there is suspense.
“When the award ceremony was conducted, they called the top 10 onto the stage and counted from tenth place to first place,” Rossman said. “Only the top four have the opportunity to participate in the Nationals event in Chicago.”
“It was incredibly nerve-wracking waiting to hear what place you get in front of over a thousand people,” he said. “I feel very lucky to have placed fourth in my event, and am proud of my fellow peers for doing as well as they did.”
“Overall, I’d describe the experience as being fun while being productive, and unbelievably exhilarating,” he said.
Green is looking forward to Nationals, but he is going into it with measured expectations, as he did with the state event.
“I hope to have a good experience,” he said. “I didn’t think I’d do poorly, but I wasn’t necessarily expecting to win.”
Although he wasn’t faced with any scenarios, Green thanked OAC Members Michelle Betts and Dave Sherman for helping to prepare him in that area.
“It’s been great to watch these students blossom as they’ve gone through the Career Center,” Advisor Cathie Cummings said. “Macey, Christian, and Mitchell have all excelled at FBLA and DECA. It was wonderful to see them place at the State Competition and I know they can all do well at Nationals.”
“I would especially like to thank my Marketing teacher, Mrs. Cummings, for everything she has helped me with over the past couple of years,” Rossman said. “I confidently believe I would not have come close to advancing had it not been for her help and her dedication to have us all succeed. I am also thankful for the Career Center and WCSD for funding this trip and the trip to Chicago. I am anxious and excited to compete on the national level for my event.”
“I’m excited to get training again and go to nationals with the best advisors, Mrs. Cummings and Mr. Smith, as well as my friends,” Eyler said.
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