members of CMU's PBL team
The Colorado Mesa University's Phi Beta Lambda team at National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Ga.


CMU business students compete at national conference

Editor's note:  This story was written by Colorado Mesa University student Shania Belden, who attended the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Ga., June 24-27, 2016.

Many students go through a period of time when they think, "Am I on the right track? Is this really what I want to do with my future?"

We call this the mid-college crisis.

I felt lost within my degree program until the middle of my sophomore year when I joined multiple clubs on campus. The first organization I joined was Phi Beta Lambda, a student organization that instills business knowledge, skills, and abilities into aspiring business leaders.

All year, Phi Beta Lambda students raised money to pay for travel to state and national competitions. We were given the opportunity at these competitions to take tests or participate in live judged events to win recognition and cash prizes at the national level (yes, we take tests for fun!).

This year, the National Leadership Conference was held in Atlanta, Ga., and 17 of us from CMU qualified to attend after competing at the state level.

Belonging to a campus organization allows students to take what they learn in class and apply it to everyday situations, so we were more than prepared to compete in our events on the national level.

In all, CMU's chapter brought home eight top-10 awards, including one first-place award and multiple second-place awards. I was lucky enough to be on one of the teams that took home a second-place award in a marketing competition. At the moment I received my award, I thought to myself, "I am working toward the right degree."

When we weren't competing, we got to explore downtown Atlanta, which is home to the headquarters of CNN, Coca-Cola® and Chick-Fil-A. We toured these businesses and learned how each department works together to be successful. Seeing professionals in the workplace only made us more excited about the value of our educations.

I felt a sense of calm as we left the conference and headed back to Colorado. I believe this calmness was because we got to see a glimpse in Georgia of what our future careers may look like after we graduate. With trophies in our hands, we were reassured that the business department is where we belong.

I encourage undergraduate students to avoid the mid-college crisis by joining clubs like Phi Beta Lambda. Not only does it build a resume, it helps you find your passion. And that can lead you to the right degree.

National Leadership Conference Results:

  • First Place- Marketing Analysis & Decision Making: Jordan Lehr and Currey Ventling
  • Second Place- Marketing Analysis & Decision Making: Jared Robberson, Shania Belden and Mike Saavedra
  • Second Place- Management Analysis & Decision Making: Currey Ventling, Heather Swain and Cassidy Blake
  • Fourth Place- Sales Presentation: Riley Brodie
  • Fifth Place- Financial Services: Heather Swain and Brandon Hoff
  • Sixth Place- Macroeconomics: Steven Schopen
  • Eighth Place- Microeconomics: Charley Cochran
  • Tenth Place- Economic Analysis & Decision Making: Steven Schopen and Charley Cochran

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