For Jessica Smith, a sophomore at and entrepreneur extraordinaire, joining the Future Business Leaders of America Club “was a no-brainer.”
Smith is at the organization’s national competition in Orlando, Florida. She was chosen to represent Fair Lawn after placing first in a marketing competition at the state level.
The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) was founded in 1937 with the goal of preparing students for business-related careers. There is a high school division with 215,000 members, a middle school division with over 20,000 members, and a college level division with over 11,000 members. There is also a professional level division with over 3,000 members.
Smith said she prepared for the FBLA Nationals by taking old practice tests from the FBLA website until she felt she was ready. There competition consists of 100 questions with a one-hour time limit. In addition, there is either an impromptu essay or interview, she said. Smith raised half of her expenses via a Gertrude Hawk chocolate fundraiser, and the rest from her Facebook page.
Smith said became interested in business starting in the sixth grade, when she began to sell costume jewelry to her classmates. Subsequently, she created her own website, and expanded her selection by finding new wholesale sources. She has studied marketing in high school.
After high school, Smith said she will major in business or marketing in college and plans to expand her jewelry business.