By Mia Wang
Banner News Staff Writer
Phi Beta Lambda is the collegiate division of FBLA-PBL with about 10,000 members. There are 10 PBL members at the DMACC Boone campus. In PBL, students work together to gain leadership skills so when they go out into the workforce, they have a better chance of being successful. Part of the mission statement of PBL is to bring business and education together.
Rob Kitchen, the 2017-18 Iowa PBL president and National PBL secretary, shared his experience in an email interview on how PBL has helped him achieve his goals. He is also a DMACC graduate and the former PBL president for one semester at the Boone campus. He mentioned Phi Theta Kappa, another beneficial leadership organization at DMACC, has a highly competitive scholarship called the Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise award, which potentially pays its winners’ full price of tuition to one of the three state universities in Iowa. Competitors must complete roughly 17 short essays, each about a different topic, that add up to around 6500 words. He said, “The majority of my essays were about my experiences and opportunities in PBL, and the judges for the scholarship were generous enough to present me with one of their full-tuition awards—the folks who give out any scholarship love to hear about leadership, travel, going outside one’s comfort zone, and community service.”
PBL also helped Kitchen’s internship for the Federal government. “These positions are notoriously difficult to earn, but I was able to do so through PBL mock-interview competitions and soft-skill exposure. The skills I learned and experiences I had through PBL set me up for a strong first impression, and even stronger work ethic,” said Kitchen.
Kitchen also introduced the benefits of being a PBL member: “Leadership is applicable to every walk of life, soft-skills are a must-have for any recent graduate, and with over 60 high-level competitive categories, and the competition of every international PBL chapter can bolster almost any student’s resume or scholarship essay.”
Chris Moon, PBL adviser and business administration instructor, commented, “All DMACC students can join PBL, although it’s called business organization. They don’t have to be business students to join; we work on students’ leadership skills in all form of business.” She also introduced the activities students will do in Phi Beta Lambda: “PBL members will do fundraising so they can attend conferences and workshops. They have workshops for students about networking, resume building, interviewing, etc.” For students who cannot afford professional wardrobe, Moon said, “We have a professional attire closet, which has clothes that are free to PBL members. So they can wear suits to their conferences.”
In April, there will be a state leadership conference held in Iowa. Students can compete in several different categories with the hope that they’ll qualify to go to national leadership conferences in the summer. If a student placed first or second in one of the categories, he or she will earn a spot at national conference. National conference this year will be held at Baltimore, where they will compete with students from all over the country.
Students can join anytime. However, if they want to compete in the state leadership conference in April, they need to join by February. Students can talk to Chris Moon, Room 141B, or they can attend PBL meetings every Monday at 12:15 p.m., Room 149.
Students gather for a PBL meeting at the DMACC Boone campus.