At the age of 52, my life situation changed drastically when we adopted our three grandchildren. The timing could not have been worse. I owned a small trucking business and I was never home. My wife’s rheumatoid arthritis limits her mobility. However, I was in college and planned to make the transition to an office job after graduation; the accelerated pace of the adoption required a change in plans.
My business administration courses had prepared me for a career in business management. The course material allowed me to discover new concepts on management, leadership, communication, and effective team development. However, I lacked the soft skills to function in an office atmosphere.
Nevertheless, my plan now was to come home and rely on my participation in Phi Beta Lambda to develop my soft skills. I would also continue to pursue my bachelor’s degree. My initial fears never materialized because of the good skills and habits I developed through my coursework, which provided me with an advantage over other entry-level employees at my company
My perseverance through hard times resulted in a tenacity for rising above challenges and the hurdles that I faced in making the transition. Looking back, I owe that all to my participation in Phi Beta Lambda.
Several Phi Beta Lambda advisers explained that the busiest students are also the most coveted by employers because of their ability to juggle multiple tasks and projects while meeting deadlines. Fortunately, Phi Beta Lambda provides the perfect laboratory for learning to manage your time and working in teams.
As a national and state officer, holding several Phi Beta Lambda leadership positions has provided me with public speaking practice, networking, and project management opportunities, which are essential to being a successful business leader. I developed a propensity for leading and working in teams that my current employer uses to help train his new driver managers.
In conclusion: I will be forever grateful to all my FBLA-PBL advisers and mentors for the incredible lessons about leadership, service, and commitment to my development as a future business leader. Career and technical education has provided me a solid foundational business understanding that provides the path for future career and life success.