Phi Beta Lambda members network in nation's capital at FBLA career conference


By Jaime North, Digital Marketing Specialist

Consulting and recruiting, diversity and inclusion, and navigating the job market were just a few of the topics a trio of Bloomsburg University students explored at the PBL Career Connections Conference in Washington, D.C. over winter break.

In addition to panel discussions and workshops, the members of Bloomsburg’s Phi Beta Lambda received advice from career professionals representing different industry sectors and met fellow PBL members from across the country, including some of the national student leaders.

“The second day of the conference sticks with me the most,” said Kimberly Speece, a business education major and vice president of Bloomsburg’s PBL chapter. “Attendees had the chance to conduct informational interviews with professionals in their chosen fields. I chose human resources, since I’m a human resources specialist for the Army National Guard. It was helpful to hear about HR from a civilian standpoint in case I decide I want to do HR instead of teach.”

Kimberly Speece with Madison Kraemer, PBL National Parliamentarian

Professional networking at the conference was a key takeaway for Nicholas Spallone, an international business major and secretary for BU’s PBL.

“There are a vast number of professionals willing to help college students understand potential career opportunities,” Spallone said. “Similar to what I have learned in ZIPD (Zeigler Institute for Professional Development), I found out that no person has the same expectations of a resume; 100 people will give 100 different opinions on the resume.”

Speece too took advantage of the conference’s numerous professional development opportunities.

“I was able to practice my networking skills at a reception where professionals from Intuit, IBM, Accenture, and others attended,” Speece said. “I also had my resume reviewed for the first time ever. Megan Skinner, a tax associate from Alvarez & Marsal, was my resume reviewer. She gave me very helpful tips and advice on how to make my resume more concise and understandable.”

She added, “My goal when I graduate is to be a business teacher and FBLA adviser. Attending conferences like this allows me to learn how to best support and guide my future students. My biggest motivator is I want to teach young people the things I never learned in high school. This conference showed me how important it is to professionally present yourself.”

Spallone agreed.

“Gaining experience of being able to network with professionals is key to giving me help towards the next step,” he said.

Spallone and Speece were joined at the career connections conference by Joanna Chen, a communication studies major and treasurer of Bloomsburg’s PBL chapter.