PBL prepares students for business world

by Jason Staker

Today’s business world is very competitive, but the business-savvy members of Phi Beta Lambda are prepared.

“It’s a business organization,” said sophomore Emmanuel Mate-Kodjo, PBL president. “The way it’s structured is that it’s trying to foster leadership among current business students and is preparing them to enter the career world.”

The group began last year with the help of assistant professor of accounting Mark Juffernbruch.

“Mark was actually really key in getting us organized this year because he is in really tight contact with the PBL director,” Mate-Kodjo said. “He actually contacted me and got the group rolling this year.”

As the group becomes more involved on and off campus, more people are coming to see what it’s all about.

“It is a business organization,” freshman Emily Marshall said. “It’s good for future plans and it can put you in contact with the right people.”

PBL’s first major event as a Simpson organization was the recent PBL conference. During spring break, members of PBL traveled to Clinton, Iowa, for a statewide business and leadership conference. Students competed in a variety of business-related events and had an opportunity to network with local business leaders.

“You have opportunities to participate in competitions for different aspects of business,” Marshall said. “You can use that on your resume to show that you are successful in that area.”

At this year’s competition, Simpson’s chapter was extremely successful.

“We all did really well,” sophomore Aaron Jones said. “We all placed first in one event.”

Some of the categories Simpson’s PBL members competed in were hospitality management, sports management and improvisational speaking.

Jones, Mate-Kodjo and freshman Jessica Leete all qualified for the National Leadership Conference and Institute for Leaders in Orlando this summer.

Mate-Kodjo was also elected as the Iowa PBL parliamentarian.

“Getting to know other people out there and getting experience to know what people are doing in other parts of the state [is beneficial],” Jones said.

Right now the three national qualifiers are preparing for the conference scheduled for the end of June.

Though PBL currently receives some money from student government for competitions, Mate-Kodjo said the group is looking for other ways to raise funds.

“In the future, we’ll be possibly starting a little business selling PBL merchandise,” Mate-Kodjo said.

Mate-Kodjo also said the experience with current business leaders is a great way to prepare for the job market of the future.

“When you get into competition you get in a good light with those guys,” Mate-Kodjo said. “After you graduate when you are looking for a job, it’s great to have those connections already in place.”