FBLA wins results from KAIAC competition

Modeling the professional business world, 22 students from SIS presented their original business plans for evaluation at the KAIAC Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) competition held on Nov. 1. Two SIS teams advanced to the quarterfinals and returned with an overall second place and the most innovative plan award. The conference was hosted by Korea International School (KIS) and brought together 125 participants.

“To most members, this tournament was their first, but their diligence and effort clearly paid off,” said Kyle Bae (12), co-president. “There is more importance behind the legacy that the awards leave for future FBLA members. Since FBLA is an unofficial club, it doesn’t have as much legitimacy as other clubs. Bringing back such awards will hopefully leave lasting impressions for the school and support the club to, again, become an official one in future years.”

The conference, held twice a year, is completely student-led, managed and organized by the members of the KAIAC Business Committee (KBC), which consists of executives from international schools such as KIS, SIS and Yongsan International School of Seoul (YISS). Although FBLA became an unofficial club after being turned down as an official club at SIS, members have been meeting outside of the school to review the basics of business provided by the executives and to polish their plans in preparation for the competition.

“The skills FBLA requires students to exhibit are practical, but often overlooked in school classes,” said Peter Kim (11), FBLA member. “It was a wonderful experience not only because I learned more than I ever would have about business through this competition, but also because I got to see new products made by other teams. The conference delivered a priceless experience.”

To better conditions and schedules from last year’s competition, the KBC devised multiple rounds and an opportunity for a team eliminated in the preliminary rounds to advance to the final rounds, in order to provide participants an equal opportunity. Despite such plans for improvement, the timetable was suddenly changed, omitting several scheduled rounds. The abrupt nature of the administration’s decisions frustrated and confused participants and officers.

“The mistakes of this conference set a clear goal for the current KBC and SIS FBLA team, which is to improve the conference for next semester,” said Erin Ko (12), co-president. “From schedules to unbiased judging standards and better preparation for students, we now realize what we can fix, and will work on improving them. But our ultimate goal is to become an official club.”