Members of Cerritos College’s, Phi Beta Lambda business club, were among many Community College, Cal-State and University students that represented their school in competitions held at the 2012 State Business Leadership Conference at the Radisson Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif. on March 30 and 31st.
“Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) education association with a 250,000 students preparing for careers in business and business-related fields and is the largest business career student organization in the world,” according to the club’s website.
The conference began Friday morning at 11:30 a.m. in the Cerritos College parking lot, as students met with the club’s adviser, Professor Jerry Ramos, to organize carpool arrangements in order to get to the hotel.
Upon the clubs arrival to the Radisson Hotel, the lobby was quickly filled with other students from various colleges including, U.C. Berkley and the University of Southern California, all for the Leadership Business Conference and all waiting to check-in to their rooms.
With some downtime before the conference’s opening reception, Ramos ordered a quick lunch for all the members of Cerritos College’s PBL, which was also a chance for students like business administration and marketing major, Noel Diaz, to get acquainted with fellow members.
“Contacts, that’s really important and basically why I came here” Diaz said. “We are the future, we’re college students right now but where will we be in ten years, having those contacts is convenient.”
After the break, the PBL chapters from all over California came together for the opening reception where a keynote speaker talked about the positive impact that a near death experience had on his life.
The mood changed once the receptions next event was held, which was the Miss PBL competition where female members had a chance to display their ability to answer impromptu questions and display personal talents.
Math major Raquel Ramirez, entered the event as representative of Cerritos College and received a few confused looks from the audience when she introduced the poem she was going to recite, titled, “Let’s Face It English Is a Stupid Language.”
“In the end I got a lot of people thinking about the different paradoxes and contradictions in the English language, and got a lot of laughs out of them so I think it ended up being pretty successful,” Ramirez said.
The first night of the conference was capped off by a social mixer that was held in a banquet hall at the hotel and included music played by a DJ as well as refreshments.
The mixer was aimed at encouraging PBL members like business management major Jose Abarca to share ideas with students from other colleges.
“I signed up to get a different feel for what other like-minded business people are like.” said Abarca, who had only been a member of PBL for a week, before coming to the conference.
Day two of the conference started with business themed competitions from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., along with workshops in several different areas of business career that were interweaved into the schedule.
Students competed in events that tested their business knowledge and skills and ranged from topics like macroeconomics to contemporary sports issues.
Competing members were judged based on content, organization, delivery and even had points deducted if the dress code was not properly followed.
When they were not competing, they had the option to participate in workshops that were aimed at leadership skills, business management, and personal growth.
Cerritos College students won several accolades in the competition portion of the conference, including, Kimleng Ly’s, first Place award for Accounting Analysis and Decision Making, along with ASCC President Jazmin Ramirez, third place in Sales Presentation – Performance, Jonathan Olmos won second Place in Telecommunications, and the team of Adriana Vargas, Jason Macias and Raquel Ramirez, won fourth place in Economic Analysis and Decision Making.
“Being in front of those judges was intimidating.”
“Not the judges themselves but the fact that they had already judged groups from four year universities such as Berkley and USC. In the end, we trusted what we learned in class as well as each other and earned our 4th Place medal.” Said Vargas.
The winners were announced at the Awards and Reception ceremony as the weekend came to a close on Saturday evening.
The top placing contestants at the state level are eligible to represent their colleges at the National Conference which will be held June 24-27 in San Antonio, Texas.
Cerritos College was the second college in California to register Phi Beta Lambda at its school back in 1960.
Edgar Ramos, President of PBL at Cerritos College, encourages students of all majors to join the club because of the benefits that it has to offer.
“Most of them are business majors but you are not required to be a business major to join the club.” said Ramos.
A good example of this idea, is film and television production major Juan Estuvier, who has his own production business.
“I like to see how other business oriented people operate strictly on the business end as opposed to the artistic side,” Estuvier said.
“Although the workshops and everything else have been really fun, the people here have been amazing.”