The Future Business Leaders of America is a nationally recognized academic club with participating affiliates in middle schools, high schools and post-secondary schools. This nonprofit educational organization aims to provide opportunities for exploration, academic growth and career preparation for students interested in business and the free enterprise system. FBLA-Phi Beta Lambda is the collegiate division with charters in various traditional colleges and career training programs. When all four levels of the FBLA are included, this is the largest student-run organization in the U.S. Students benefit from FBLA membership in different ways.

1. FBLA aims to develop future business leaders.

The core mission of the FBLA, as its name implies, is to bring together students who are interested in pursuing a career in business. Far from being a passive organization, FBLA schedules a national conference every year, providing an ideal opportunity to meet with industry leaders, successful FBLA mentors and their peers. Aside from the annual convention, the organization provides a quarterly publication called “Tomorrow’s Business Leader” for its members and supplementary content for academic courses.

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2. Participating in annual competitions can hone your skills and help prepare for the next phase in your career path.

Annual competitions are eagerly awaited events. Members compete with representatives from other chapters, other states and international schools, including those from the the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Department of Defense Dependents Schools based abroad. The competitions assess participants’ competencies in different aspects of business such as public speaking, advertising, journalism, business ethics, emerging business issues and organizational leadership. Participants in the competitions may be asked to take written tests, prepare the script for a role-play module based on a given prompt or deliver an original speech. Activities may vary, depending on the directions given by the Board of Directors for a given year. Winners of these events are awarded trophies, plaques and citations of excellence.

3. Networking with peers and mentors can lead to unique opportunities.

The local charter of the Future Business Leaders of America is led by a sponsor or mentor. These leaders are typically FBLA alumni or industry experts with an exemplary record of service to the community. You would do well to cultivate these relationships because mentors make excellent references provided you demonstrate your passion for learning and leading beforehand. Likewise, membership in FBLA will give you common ground to build lasting relationships with peers who share your interests and skills.

4. Training for a future mentorship position starts here.

Mentorship is a way to give back to the community, but it is also a rewarding endeavor that provides an opportunity for you to guide the next generation of business leaders. Being a mentor is usually a volunteer position, but it can be rewarding in other ways. Many FBLA members go on to become leaders and influencers in their communities, and it is satisfying for mentors to know that they contributed to students’ success.

5. FBLA awards scholarships to eligible members.

The FBLA administers merit-based scholarship programs. These awards provide supplemental money for college expenses while highlighting academic and extra-curricular accomplishments. Post-secondary scholarships include the Distinguished Business Leader scholarship, Virtual Business scholarship intended for students demonstrating a keen interest in business and technology, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation award for students showing entrepreneurial initiative. Other scholarships are linked to admission to specific colleges and universities.

Future Business Leaders of America is a campus-based organization for students interested in pursuing a career in business. Participation in the annual FBLA Competitive Events, the Business Achievement Awards or just attending the conferences provide opportunities to meet industry leaders and other students who share the same interests. Membership in FBLA will help to establish a solid foundation of business competencies to prepare you to thrive in the real world.