Phi Beta Lambda collects state, national awards

By Natasha Muhametzyanova, Contributing Writer

In the midst of summer break, several students from the Gary E. West College of Business participated in the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Ga. from June 24-27.

WLU senior Catherine Tate received ninth place in the country in the cost accounting event.

The competition, which was organized by the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) – PBL student career organization, consisted of two parts. Tate completed the first part of the competition in May; she had an hour to complete four different tasks using Microsoft Excel. The second part of the competition was waiting for her in Atlanta.

“I had to answer 100 cost accounting questions and problems within an hour. My test was entirely online,” Tate said.

“When the other WLU students and I heard my name called, I think it was amazing for all of us,” Tate said. “I didn’t realize until later that I was the first person from WLU to place at this kind of competition. Knowing that I competed against students from all over the country and placed is really an honor.”

Hayden Blazer, the West Virginia PBL president and WLU chapter president, has also won the Who’s Who Award from the West Virginia chapter. Blazer, a junior accounting and finance major, established the PBL chapter at WLU in 2015.

Since then, WLU students have been able to connect with the business community across the country as well as share their ideas with the college community.

“Phi Beta Lambda encompasses social and educational benefits,” Blazer said. “We have group outings, hold meetings and have a number of leadership positions students can fill. This brings members closer together and really adds a bond between the students. The organization also has competitions students can enter to win at the state and national level.”

Despite being a newer organization on campus, PBL became very important for students.

“I am a transfer student and commuter to WLU and didn’t know anyone when I came here,” Tate said. “I spend all of my time here with the friends I have made through PBL. It has also offered me great networking opportunities and a chance to meet other students who are interested in business. The PBL chapter here is pretty new but I think the activities we put together and participation in the national conference help build the club.”

PBL is evolving on the Hilltop, and the new academic year is going to bring more exciting events.

“We have expanded into the professional division, which allows professionals to participate in our organization and network with students. We have also added a lot of social aspects to our club in order to generate bigger membership. The goal for this year is to add 50 new professionals to our network.  We feel that is it very important to bridge the social gap between college students and professionals. We also plan to recruit more members and take as many as we can to compete in California,” said Blazer.

The next PBL National Conference will be held in the summer of 2017 in Anaheim, Calif.

Featured photo by Ashley Cole

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Photos by Hayden Blazer