Business leaders to compete in national conference

By Jenni Whalen
Senior Writer

Three University students, Michelle Havrilla ’12, Jane Suglia ’14 and Alexa Widawsky ’14, qualified to compete in the national Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) conference in San Antonio, Texas on June 24-27, 2012. They secured their spots after successfully competing at the annual PBL Pennsylvania State Conference in Gettysburg, Pa. on March 30 – April 1.

“We had a great time at the conference and were really proud of everyone’s performances. It was great to listen to professionals share their ideas on topics ranging from project management to marketing, and we are looking forward to attending the fall conference in Philadelphia,” Suglia said. 

PBL is the collegiate division of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and is the nation’s largest student-run business organization. The organization works to prepare its members for success in business-related fields after school. As a first-year, Havrilla started a PBL chapter on campus. Now, four years later, many University students participate in PBL events like on-campus workshops, resume critiques, etiquette dinners, speaking events related to business topics and off-campus conferences.

Eight University PBL members attended the Gettysburg conference, which included competitions, speakers, workshops and networking opportunities with some of the top business professionals in the United States. At the conference, Suglia and Widawsky competed in a team event called Business Decision Making. The two students won second place and qualified for nationals. Havrilla competed in an Individual Public Speaking contest and won first place, securing her place at nationals as well.

“I am very excited and honored to have the opportunity to attend the PBL national conference this year! At the state level, I delivered a five-minute speech focusing on one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the 20th century, Walt Disney. Walt Disney’s determination, strength of character and commitment to making people happy are only a few of his many attributes that FBLA-PBL members should strive towards in their future endeavors,” Havrilla said.

After acting as president of PBL for three years, Havrilla has passed her position down to Alexa Widawsky ’14 this year. PBL continues to accept new members.

“I have been involved in the FBLA-PBL organization since I was a freshman in high school. Eight years later, I can truly say that FBLA-PBL is more than a business club; it is a professional organization that has helped me to develop into the young woman that I have become today,” Havrilla said. “The people I have met throughout my experiences along with the knowledge I have acquired through various workshops and conferences have had an enormous impact on preparing me for the business world.”


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