Excited faces and packed suitcases filled the library as twelve juniors and seniors from Mercy’s Future Business Leaders of America chapter planned to embark on the most anticipated trip of the year. The State Leadership Conference began later that day, and our chapter had been preparing all semester for the three day event. Held in Kearney, Nebraska, SLC brings together thousands of FBLA students from around the state to compete in various competitions and develop business leadership skills.
The almost three hour drive went by quickly, and we eagerly piled out of the school van to catch a glimpse of our hotel. Mrs. Krajicek, our wonderful advisor, was able to book us rooms in the Crowne Plaza hotel and event center, the fanciest hotel in Kearney. We felt like real business leaders walking into the place which also served as the primary conference center for SLC.
After checking into our rooms, we could not wait to explore the hotel and network with students from every city in Nebraska. First, we attended the Opening Session where we were able to meet the 2022 Nebraska State FBLA Officers. Then the events began!
All attendees of the State Leadership Conference are required to compete in three to five business related competitions. There are many events to choose from ranging from objective tests (Advertising, Personal Finance, etc.) to performance events (Job Interviews, Public Speaking, etc.) to project events (Digital Video Production, Publication Design, etc.). There is a competition for every type of person and business topic. With so many events to choose from, the SLC schedule was very busy, and it was up to each of us to know when our individual events were happening. Additionally, we had the opportunity to attend various business leadership related workshops and presentations.
Even with a busy competition schedule, we all made sure to have fun and maximize the experience. The Crowne Plaza hotel featured a full waterpark with slides and a giant hot tub, a highlight of the trip. With three rooms of four people each, we had an exciting Easter Gingerbread house competition on Monday night. Additionally, SLC sponsored a social event on Tuesday night called the FBLA Olympics. Randomly generated teams competed in a tournament style competition to earn prizes. It was so much fun to meet new people and do something not business related after a long day.
Before we knew it, Wednesday had arrived. After packing up our rooms, we headed to the main conference room for the Awards of Excellence program. After all of our hard work we were elated to find out that six of our members qualified for the National Leadership Conference in Chicago this summer. I can confidently say that each of us had an educational and exciting time at the State Leadership Conference and we will forever remember the experience!