High school students from across the state came to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to take part in the fifth annual American Business Competition. The event was hosted by the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) business student organization which is sponsored by the College of Business Administration. Over 300 students from 21 high schools attended the annual event.
One of the unique features of the competition is that it is run entirely by PBL students. Mark Davis, student advisor for PBL, attributed the success of the event directly to the student involvement.
“Students are in charge of everything that happens,” Davis said. “They communicate with the high schools, line up volunteers from businesses, coordinate parking and line up counselors. They are also doing fundraising for the organization because the high school students do pay to attend.”
Many of the students running the event also participated as high school students. Jena Gangwish, a senior business minor from Hastings, Neb., delivered the welcome address and introduced CBA Dean Donde Plowman to the students.
Jena Gangwish meets with Dean Plowman
“I love PBL and I’ve been involved with this event since high school,” Gangwish said. “It’s a great chance to compete against other students, and it also gives students a chance to interact with businesses during the job interview competition. Businesses get to meet students who are strong candidates for the workforce.”
Amy Chin, a freshmen finance major from Lincoln, Neb., also saw firsthand how the event can influence high school students.
“I was in the competition last year. It really put PBL in a positive light and helped me want to come to a college with a strong PBL chapter,” Chin said. “It was fun but a littledifferent this year when I was the one proctoring the exams.”
JenYung Lee, a sophomore accounting major from Lincoln, Neb. who worked on the event, stressed the importance of outreach to the high schools.
“CBA is trying to create a bigger sense of community and this event helps accomplish that by bringing a large group of prospective college students to campus,” Lee said. “We give the high school students advising packets so that they have all the information they need on the latest programs happening at our college such as the new business minor.”
The competitions included accounting, business communications, job interviewing, business math, personal finance, marketing and management decision making. Business partners included MarketSphere, Hudl, Hyland Software, Wells Fargo Band, Deloitte & Touche and Fiserv.