Phi Beta Lambda brings home nine awards

Aaron Manuel Cruz receiving first place for help desk at Phi Beta Lambda’s State Leadership Conference. The conference took place in Union City last weekend. The club won a total of nine awards. Photo credit: Karla Enriquez

Karla Enriquez

Aaron Manuel Cruz receiving first place for help desk at Phi Beta Lambda’s State Leadership Conference. The conference took place in Union City last weekend. The club won a total of nine awards. Photo credit: Karla Enriquez

Karla Enriquez

The Bay Area heard the name Cerritos College repeatedly, as the ballroom inside of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Union City was witness to the nine awards Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) obtained.

The State Leadership Conference took place last weekend, culminating in an Awards of Excellence Ceremony.

The winners included:

  • Ariel DeLos Santos- Fifth Place in Accounting Principles
  • Brian Bray-First place in Computer Concepts
  • Aaron Manuel Cruz-Fifth place in Information Management
  • Aaron Manuel Cruz-First place in Networking Concepts
  • Aaron Manuel Cruz-First place in Help Desk
  • Bryan Enriquez, Crystal Brosious and Johanna Hernandez-Second place in Hospitality Management and Fourth place for Public Speaking
  • Carlos Diaz-Second place in Name Tag event
  • Cerritos College PBL- Second place Sweepstakes Community College Level

Under the advisory of Business Professor Jerry Ramos, the Cerritos College chapter traveled 334 miles to compete and test its knowledge against universities like UCLA, USC, UC San Diego and community colleges like Diablo Valley.

Cruz, who stood under the bright lights of the stage three times, automatically qualifies for nationals given his first place wins.

“It was definitely a lot more than I expected,” he stated, noting that this was his first time at a conference.

“I didn’t have to do much for each of them because I actually work in the IT field right now, I’m a business assistant’s analyst,” he stated.

Cruz said that his first place in the performance event for help desk was a scenario where he had to come up with a hypothetical solution to diagnose an issue.

“It started off as we were a contracted help desk company and a world-wide database company had problems with its servers and we came in and basically provided solutions.”

Cruz stated that he doesn’t know if he’ll make it to nationals which will take place this summer in Atlanta, Georgia, citing his work schedule.

Enriquez expressed his excitement for nationals. He saw the stage twice with his team.

Under the hospitality management event, he and his team were tasked with revamping a baseball team.

“We had prompts given to us about 20 minutes before our presentation, the marketing one was about a minor league baseball team [whose brand we had to revamp], create more brand awareness for the team and up the revenue by 20 percent.

“For hospitality management, we had an extended stay hotel and we were trying to create more referral for customers and improve customer service,” he said.

He continued, “In the moment we felt like we didn’t do as well as we know we could have, but it turns out that we did, we got second place in hospitality management and fourth for marketing.”

Enriquez voiced that the club brings support to its members and new experiences.

“PBL means growth, you learn a lot of things, you get to meet people from different walks of life, you experience a lot of things on your own that you may not be able to experience, you get to meet a lot of people in your same major, which you can share knowledge and experiences.”

Brosious agreed with Enriquez on both counts stating that the team may have been a little hard of themselves initially, but felt good about their wins.

“PBL to me, is about not only forming friendships on campus, but networking with like-minded business people and advancing in my career as a business woman.

“We’re like a little family, we’re together a lot on campus, we look out for each other and care about each other,” she expressed.

Hernandez, who will go to nationals for the second time, beamed as she explained the opportunities the conference has brought to her.

“It’s an amazing opportunity, there are so many incredible workshops, a lot more one-on-one, since not everyone gets to go to the competition portion, so we just learn a lot.

“I had never considered being an entrepreneur, I always thought I would work for someone else and just hearing all of these experts, giving you an alternative opinion on why they went into business themselves it allows you to dream bigger.”

Hernandez found PBL through Ramos’ class, in which he promoted the club during her first semester at Cerritos.

She expressed that the excitement of being on the brightly lit stage as each finalist was awarded, knowing that with each school that passed the chances of getting a better place existed, was one of the best parts of the conference.

This was evident in each member’s face, toothy grins and smiles, each and every time members stood up to retrieve the awarded medals.