UT Dallas student competitors placed first in four events and third in another at the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference held virtually in late June. In all, six students took part in the conference, and all six finished in the top 10 in every event they entered.
“I don’t think we have previously earned more than two first-place finishes in a single national conference,” said UTD Phi Beta Lambda chapter advisor Dr. Kristen Lawson, a Naveen Jindal School of Management clinical assistant professor in the Organizations, Strategy and International Management Area. “I am so proud of all of our students who went above and beyond to compete — burnout is affecting everyone worldwide, and most of these students are working in internships this summer and had to fit in the various events around their jobs or coursework. They once again did a stellar job of finding ways to make it work and shine like the Comets they are.”
Phi Beta Lambda is the collegiate division of Future Business Leaders of America, and the UT Dallas chapter is based in the Jindal School. The student organization provides opportunities to develop business-related career competencies and promotes personal and civic responsibility. Each spring, members compete in events that test their business knowledge and skills, and top finishers at the state level are eligible to compete at the national competition each summer.
Three Jindal School students and one Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science student took first place in four categories this year:
• Ashley Garber, senior in accounting, won Forensic Accounting;
• Dinesh Pandian, senior in information technology and systems, won Programming Concepts and Project Management; and
• John Squire, Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science senior in biomedical engineering, won Cyber Security.
And another Jindal School student took third place in a fifth category:
• Vidhesha Vaid, senior in information technology and systems, placed third for Information Management.
“UTD’s Phi Beta Lambda chapter will be hosting the Phi Beta Lambda Texas State Leadership Conference in April 2022, and there will be lots of opportunities for students who want to get involved, get some leadership and event-planning skills and service on their résumés. We will definitely be recruiting in fall 2021 for new members,” Lawson said.
The remaining top 10 results were:
• Ashley Garber placed fourth in Business Ethics.
• Vartika Varshney, graduate student double majoring in international management studies and marketing, finished in sixth place in Business Communication.
• John Squire and Ankita Bantey, Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science senior in computer science, finished in seventh place in Administrative Support Technology.
• Vartika Varshney finished in eighth place in Public Speaking.
• Vidhesha Vaid, placed ninth in Statistical Analysis.
— Holly Rio