Phi Beta Lambda Brings Home 22 Firsts From State

2017 Phi Beta Lambda at Texas State Leadership Conference

UT Dallas Phi Beta Lambda competitors take a break from the April 7-8 Texas State Leadership Conference at the Kemah (Texas) Boardwalk.

UT Dallas students who attended the Texas State Leadership Conference of the business-career organization Phi Beta Lambda scored top honors in just under half of the annual gathering’s competitive events, earning first place in 22 of 45 contests. Held at the San Jacinto College Maritime Campus in La Porte, the conference took place April 7 and 8.

“In short, we dominated the competition and have at least one team — sometimes two — going to nationals for every event we competed in,” Dr. Kristen Lawson, UT Dallas PBL advisor and a clinical assistant professor in business communications.

Including online contests that took place before the conference and the conference live competitions, UT Dallas PBL members competed in 30 events in all, according to Lawson.

“We took first in 22 events, second in nine events, and third in seven events,” she said.

Business disciplines represented included accounting, business law, economics, finance, hospitality management, human resource management, information systems and marketing. The performance event schedule began with writing exercises in business communication and continued with presentations, role-plays and question-and-answer sessions. Contestants either demonstrated skills in analysis and decision-making or showed the results of projects — in community service, social media campaigns, mobile app development and network and website design.

In all, 34 UT Dallas PLB members competed, nine online and 25 at the conference, which also featured a general session and workshops.

Thirty of those competitors immediately qualified to advance to competitions at the National Leadership Conference, which will be held June 24 to June 27 in Anaheim, California. “Thirty-two could potentially be going to nationals if any of the teams ranked above them — say, second place in an event in which they placed third — cannot go, “Lawson said.

The collegiate division of the Future Business Leaders of America, Phi Beta Lambda focuses on preparing students for careers in business and business-related fields. On the college level, more than 11,000 students nationwide participate in the organization, which is designed to build leadership and scholarship.