In the midst of a plethora of assignments and hectic schedules, SIS’ Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) members successfully prepared for the first Korea Business Competition (KBC) of this school year. Taking place on Sept. 16 and hosted by Yongsan International School Seoul (YISS), this year’s KBC involved a total of three losers’ bracket rounds and winners’ bracket rounds each.
The main challenge of the competition was to design a business inclusive to foreigners and fit for an increasingly diversifying Korean society. Among the 20 teams that participated, the Cheongna Dalton School Team One won first place with its most attractive and innovative approach to the prompt. Although neither of the two SIS teams that participated made it to the final round, both received special recognition: SIS Team One was awarded ‘Best Presentation’ while Team Two was given ‘Most Feasible Idea.’
“This year’s preparation process was so much more intense and rushed due to the fact that our competition was held roughly a month earlier than usual,” said Jenny Oh (10), FBLA project manager. “I feel that the early competition date, in part, accounts for SIS’ unfortunate results this year. We were sadly unable to bring the first place trophy home after a long legacy and promise of four to five years. However, in its place, both of our teams got fairly unique awards. I’m still looking forward to the second semester competition so that SIS can regain its honorable title as longstanding champions.”
The KAIAC Business Committee organizes one competition every semester. In the first semester, the prompt requires participants to create their own businesses, while in the second semester the contestants produce case study reports. In the first semester competitions, teams are required to submit their business reports and presentations prior to the competition date. The participants are judged based on their business reports, presentational skills, Question and Answer sessions, and idea originality and development.
“In my old job as a test engineer, I was required to give numerous presentations and had to present findings of data,” said Richard Gallagher, FBLA adviser. “The major skills I needed for those [tasks]were gathering and analyzing data on Microsoft Excel and making PowerPoints. [Our department] was always looking for people who were competent to use such programs. Through FBLA, [students]are learning these kinds of skills before they have to use them in a work setting. They are getting real practical experience and figuring out how to sell their ideas to others in order to get money and funding.”
With only a month to prepare, FBLA members had relatively little time to get ready for the competition. Not only did their respective presenters have to practice speeches, but the teams also were required to submit their business reports and final presentations to the KAIAC Business Committee prior to the date of the actual competition. Nevertheless, they all managed to pull through, yielding decent results.
“With member switches, absences, and general complications of that nature, our team had to do a lot of improvising,” said Bill Lee (11), KBC participant. “With that being said, despite all those conflicts, we pulled it off at the end by sticking together as a team and communicating efficiently with each other. I really enjoyed working with a group of people that I felt really close to, and it helped immensely that everyone was mostly cooperative.”