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Practice Makes Perfect: FBLA Ready to take on Districts

Last year's members at the District Awards Ceremony.

Maria Estrada

Last year's members at the District Awards Ceremony.

Emily Simon and Natalia Rodriguez

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The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) is a club centered around career-readiness and adopting useful business skills. Competitions are a great way to learn and maintain practical skills, such as customer service and parliamentary procedure, that will be present in the future careers of club members. In order to acquire as much knowledge as possible in their chosen discipline, FBLA members have been hard at work to prepare for the district competitions taking place in late January.

Impromptu Speaking – Samuel White

An active FBLA member since his freshman year, junior Samuel White hopes to one day pursue a career in business management. In order to prepare for a job in the business field, White is a veteran competitor in impromptu speaking. The second time he competed in his sophomore year, he qualified for the State Leadership Conference (SLC). “This competition requires you to be quick thinking and good in front of a crowd. Five minutes before you perform, you are handed a topic and you have to think of ideas and create a speech to deliver at the same time,” White said. Requiring a great deal of improvisation, this competition allows competitors to grow as public speakers and leaders. To prepare, White trains himself going through different scenarios. Presenting himself with a topic, he then how long it takes him to prepare a speech. He also credits class presentations and his involvement in Speech and Debate as good practice.

Andres Velasco
Samuel White presents to the Coral Gables Museum as a form of practice for his competition.

Entrepreneurship – Olbin Gil

Despite only being a freshman in the IB academy, Olbin Gil is not one to shy away from a challenge. Eager to get involved in FBLA and learn as much as he could about business, Gil decided to take on entrepreneurship for his first FBLA competition. While many see this competition as one of the more intimidating ones due to the fact that there is both an objective test and a performance, Gil has no problem taking a small risk that is sure to yield great rewards. In the entrepreneurship competition, one plays the role of an entrepreneur and attempts to aid a company in solving a problem that they have encountered relating to business planning, human relations, financial management, or marketing. The person (or team) that develops the most efficient solution to the problem is deemed the winner by a panel of judges. In order to be as prepared as possible for whatever situation may be presented to him, Gil has been watching videos and reading books about entrepreneurship, and has even sought the help of a teacher who agreed to help him learn the most effective ways to approach the issues.

“The remaining time I have left [to prepare for my competition] I will use to reinforce my knowledge about problem solving and expand my understanding of the field,” freshman Olbin Gil said.

Management Information Systems – Alexander Sutton

Alexander Sutton is a sophomore in the IB program who has been involved in FBLA since his freshman year. This year is his first time competing in Management Information Systems (MIS), and he has put great effort into preparing for it. MIS deals with the technological aspects of managing a business and using computers to maximize efficiency. Fortunately, MIS is not just an individual competition; one can compete as a team. Sutton has partnered up with sophomores Aleksander Aguilar and Johnathan Mesa for the competition. The three of them have been working diligently to prepare for the event. This collaboration is crucial because it not only helps in the performance portion of the competition, but it also helps for the objective test seeing as it is a collaborative effort. Sutton, Aguilar and Mesa truly demonstrate how teamwork really does makes the dream work.

“I have met up with my friends and studied from various resources, including textbooks. I also watch YouTube videos on the topic. Additionally, I’m going to make sure I get stronger at verbal presentation so that we can blow the judges away,” Sutton said.

Natalia Rodriguez
Sutton hard at work studying for MIS.

Network Design – Javier Cuesta

A senior in the IB academy, Javier Cuesta has been an active FBLA member for two years. Getting involved with the club because of his attraction to technology-driven competitions. Cuesta is competing on Network Design. This competition requires students to display knowledge in network design presenting to a panel of judges. “Despite being a technology based competition like others I have done, it felt fresh in that it gave me an opportunity to show my own unique solution to a problem,” Cuesta said. In order to prepare for the competition, Cuesta took courses and had a vested interest in the topic. He also took part in, and won, the Innovate Challenge earlier this year. His nerves only surfaced when presenting in front of judges but eventually he executed his presentation with grace and charm.

Through their diligent work and perserverance, these future business leaders hope to not only place in their respective district competitions but also adopt important skills that will give them an upperhand in the workplace. To see a list of past winners and to learn more about FBLA click here.

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About the Contributors
Emily Simon, Editor-in-Chief

Emily Simon is a senior in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Coral Gables Senior High. Serving as both the Features and Student Life editor for the 2017-2018 school year, she is very excited to serve as the Editor-in-Chief this school year. Other than writing for CavsConnect, Simon hopes to once again play soccer on the Gables team as well as continue her work with the Coral Gables Museum Project. She is also excited about serving as President of the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and Vice President of both Future Business Leaders of America and Art Club this year. She also plans to extend her work as the founder of Miami Springs Tutors and continue being an actively involved Cavalier. Emily is very passionate about emojis and Oxford commas, disagreeing with APA style’s distrust of them. 😼💚🌻🐢

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Natalia Rodriguez, Reviews Editor

Natalia Rodriguez is currently a senior in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program here at Gables, and is excited to continue editing for CavsConnect this year. As a person who loves to get involved, she is a member of six clubs including Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and the French Honor Society, on which she holds board positions. However, her involvement at Gables is not only academic: she is the captain of the cross country team and is also on the track and field team. During her free time, she can be found running, baking, spending time with friends, or exploring new restaurants. Her goal for the year is maintaining a happy and healthy lactose intolerant lifestyle. In the future, she sees herself pursuing spiritual fulfillment as a Cambodian monk, but at the moment the only thing that she is certain about doing in the future is staying alive. She likes piña coladas and going out in the rain, as well as misquoting 70’s songs. Rodriguez is outgoing and enjoys any chance to make new friends. Rodriguez also loves traveling, listening to music, laughing, and making others laugh. Excited for the new year, she is ready for whatever may come her way. She is also a granola, grits and bagel enthusiast.

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Andres Velasco, Multi-Media Editor

Andres Velasco is a senior in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Gables. During his final year in CavsConnect,  he hopes to not only improve his photography skills but also help the rest of the photographers as he takes on the role of Multi-Media editor. Described by his friends as funny, spontaneous, sarcastic and aesthetically pleasing, Andres is an England aficionado; he hopes to live there at some point in his life. Andres is an avid member of both International Baccalaureate Honor Society (IBHS) and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Outside of school, he is the President for The Museum Project, where he also takes pictures. In his free time, Andres enjoys playing with dogs, watching comedy specials, and taking pictures of his friends. His philosophy, for both life and photography, is that there is beauty everywhere but it just needs to be found. Andres is excited about the countless unforgettable memories he will be making this 2018-2019 school year.

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Maria Estrada, Spanish Editor

Maria Estrada is a diligent senior in the International Baccalaureate Academy at Coral Gables Senior High School.  As an exuberant and vivacious spirit, Maria is always ready to embark on a new adventure. Maria’s unquenchable thirst for literature can be portrayed through her participation in CavsConnect, where she genuinely enjoys reporting for her fellow Cavaliers. Maria puts forth maximum dedication in whatever she does, because from what she was taught, that’s what matters the most.

When she isn’t studying for the next atrocious exam or when her nose isn’t buried in an Ernest Hemingway novel, Maria can be easily found preparing for an upcoming monologue or scene. Besides being academically involved, Maria holds a colossal appreciation for the arts. She’s a thespian at heart and the stage is her second home. Her love for the performing arts gives her an escape from her hectic schedule. When trying to unwind after a long day, you can find her curled up indulging in her greatest addiction, Netflix, or reading some William Shakespeare. Maria also enjoys spending time with her family and magnificent friends. She hopes to accumulate a myriad of pleasant memories that she will hold dear with the commencement of her final chapter as a Cavalier.

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Practice Makes Perfect: FBLA Ready to take on Districts