Business clubs can be a valuable part of any business major’s college career. Not only do these organizations promote a sense of community, but they also offer enhanced learning opportunities. Perhaps even most importantly, they can provide students a venue for making connections with established business professionals, which can be a valuable resource when searching for internships and employment.
At the beginning of the semester Justin Fink—business major, member of the Geneva College Student Union (GCSU) and student representative for on-campus clubs—realized that there were no business clubs being offered. So, after talking with the vice president of clubs, he decided to pursue starting a business club. Thus began his journey towards establishing a Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club for the students of Geneva.
He sought the assistance of Associate Professor of Business Denise Murphy-Gerber, and she offered to take a sub-advisor role if Associate Professor of Business Gordon Richards would take the head advisor role. Professor Richards agreed, and encouraged Fink to research different student-led business clubs to determine which would be the best. Through his research, Fink decided that the FBLA was the best choice because of its reputation, and because it offers the most opportunities for the aspiring business students of Geneva College.
With his advisors in place, Fink began putting the organization together. “The process was strenuous and very time consuming. There was a lot that went into starting this club such as doing the paperwork, making positions and filling these positions,” says Fink.
The next student he brought into the picture was Eric Spangenberg, who took the vice-president position, along with Stephen Johnston as secretary and Kevin Goodnow as treasurer.
“I’m excited about the opportunities that will present themselves through the club and how the club’s future will unfold,” says treasurer Kevin Goodnow.
Fink identified specific goals for Geneva’s FBLA chapter. The club wants to connect students with established business people to maximize the professional preparation of students. It will also seek to help the Geneva business department grow, get involved with the surrounding community, and go on trips for competitions and seminars.
“We are looking to set up a mentor program for the community and to assist Beaver County Christian School (BCCS) with their connections,” Fink says. “We are throwing out ideas like going to Cabella’s—one of the best marketed stores out there, the east coast Apple Headquarters in Charlotte, New York, and other places like that. Professor Richards has been talking about getting us tours of the office of Homeland Security and other significant buildings in D.C.”
The FBLA is the largest and oldest student organization in the world, with 11,000 college members. Its goals are to develop competent and aggressive business leadership; strengthen the confidence of students in themselves and their work; create more interest in and understanding of American business enterprise; and to develop character, prepare for useful citizenship and foster patriotism.
“The business department is excited to see where the members will take this club,” says Professor Richards. “There is a lot of opportunity here to begin building networks with industry leaders and to learn from Christian business people who carry their faith with them into the workplace every day.”
The FBLA Geneva Facebook page can be accessed here.
Geneva graduates pass the test for teacher certification in elementary education (Praxis II) at over a 99% rate in the first attempt–one of the highest pass rates in Pennsylvania.