Students from Fort Mill and Nation Ford high schools finished among the top in the nation recently at the National Future Business Leaders of America Conference in Anaheim, Calif.
Nick Yaggie, Nick Cunningham and Avery Carter, students at Fort Mill High School, finished seventh place at the conference in a Management Decision Making team event. Savannah and Jessica Marsh, juniors at Nation Ford High School, finished eighth in the Desktop Publishing team event.
More than 9,000 students from around the country attended.
The conference put students’ business skills to the test by presenting them with scenarios they may face in the business world.
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Savannah and Jessica Marsh were tasked with designing materials for a summer camp including a logo, name tag, schedule and pamphlet that would be sent to parents of the campers.
It utilized the sisters’ creative writing and graphic design skills. They also had to type quickly and with few mistakes to get their materials completed in the allotted time, they said.
“I think we worked really well together,” said Jessica Marsh. “We know how to do things together and we’re both kind of OCD about how things work, so creativity wise we were looking for certain things.”
Yaggie, Cunningham and Carter began their competition by taking a 100-question business knowledge test. The 15 highest scoring teams moved into the final competition later that day.
For the final competition, the team was given a challenge – find a solution for a home builder preparing tract homes to fulfill an increasing demand. They were given 20 minutes to formulate a solution and presentation.
“We played the role of economic analysts and had seven minutes to present to a panel of judges and over 50 spectators,” Yaggie said in an email to the Fort Mill Times. “We talked about the state of the current economy, trends in the home building market, and ways to satisfy residents’ preferences.”
Each of the team members has plans to continue involvement in FBLA after their top ten national conference finish.
Cunningham will serve as the president of Phi Beta Lambda at Winthrop University, the college-level FBLA.
Yaggie is studying Business Administration at University of South Carolina and will participate in a Phi Beta Lambda chapter there.
Avery will serve as a South Carolina State Officer and as president of FBLA at Fort Mill High in the 2013-2014 school year.
Nation Ford teacher advisor Lynn Marsh said that the conference is essential to building the students’ self-confidence.
“Those opportunities to gain self confidence, see how smart they really are and meet other professionals who can see that too, they are important,” Marsh said.
The conference also helps remind them of the importance of hard work, she said.
“These kids on the stage are the kids who are working hard even when school is over to be the best at what they are doing. It’s not just about being smart, it’s about the effort,” she said.