Three Brigham Young University business students took top honors at the Future Business Leaders—Phi Beta Lambda National Awards competition held in July in Denver. The competition drew more than 7,000 students who competed in 40 categories.
Julia Skelton and Cory Latschkowski worked together to earn first place in the network design category. Erik Taylor, a recent graduate in economics from Orem, Utah, placed first in the economics division.
BYU's Phi Beta Lambda chapter, the collegiate level of the nonprofit association Future Business Leaders of America, prepares students for careers in business and business-related fields. Members competed in state competitions in March and the qualifying students went on to the national competition.
A multiple-choice exam was the first component of the competition. Skelton, a sophomore studying advertising and marketing from Alberta, Canada, and Latschkowski, a senior studying management from Washington, Utah, placed in the top ten and advanced to the second round where they presented a solution to a networking case study.
"We were quarantined in a room at 8 a.m. and had to stay there until we presented; some students didn't present until 2 p.m.," Skelton says. "We were given the case study and 25 minutes to prepare our solutions and presentation. We couldn't bring anything in with us; we just had two note cards and a pen. It was stressful but rewarding."
BYU students John Keller, a senior from Salt Lake City studying international studies, and Corey Crowell, a recent graduate in finance management from Ogden, Utah, respectively placed fifth and tenth in the international business category. Skelton also placed fourth in word processing and Latschkowski, who took second in network design last year, also placed seventh in networking concepts.
"The experience of competing has made me re-evaluate how my classes apply in real situations," Skelton says. "In these competitive events, I have had to make quick business decisions under pressure, which has given me a different type of education."
PBL has more than 250,000 student members nationwide in 6,000 chartered chapters and is the largest student business association of its kind. It sponsors competitions, guest speakers, service opportunities and conferences throughout the year.
Writer: Cari Thomas