Student Organizations & Advisors in Business Education

Instructor: Lucinda Stanley

Lucinda has taught business and information technology and has a PhD in Education.

Learn about student organizations for business students and their benefits for students. In this lesson, you'll also find out how student organizations often partner with community business leaders to enhance understanding of business concepts.

How to Enhance Your Business Education

Do you dream of becoming the CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Do you eat, sleep, and breathe marketing strategies or research and development? Are you still in school and wonder how you can make your dreams come true?

Then consider joining a student organization for business education students. These organizations provide a variety of opportunities to enhance your business education from high school through college and beyond.

Organizations for Both High School and College Students

Whether you are in high school or college, there are student organizations that can help you develop your business knowledge and skills. These are some fairly well-known national and international student organizations for both high school and college business students:

DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) is an international association available for both high school and college students. DECA has programs targeting marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. They have educational conferences and competitive events in business management and administration, entrepreneurship, and marketing.

FBLA-PBL (Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda) is a national organization with local chapters in every state. Future Business Leaders of America is the high school organization and Phi Beta Lambda is the college organization. FBLA-PBL even has professional membership to enlist the aid of local business leaders to mentor students in business classes. The FBLA-PBL hosts regional and national conventions and competitive events such as 3-D animation, business ethics, business financial plans, and desktop application programming.

BPA (Business Professionals of America) has chapters in 21 states and Puerto Rico. It holds a national leadership conference focusing on leadership development, as well as competitions and awards. The BPA Workplace Skills Assessment Program hosts competitions in such areas as fundamental accounting, banking and finance, and fundamental word processing.

Organizations for College Students

Some student organizations are strictly for college business students. Some are honor societies such as:

Beta Gamma Sigma is a National Scholastic Business Honorary. If you are in an accredited business program, you may be recognized for outstanding academic achievement and be invited to become a member.

Omicron Delta Epsilon is an honor society for economics majors to recognize scholastic excellence.

Other student organizations focus on specific interests such as:

Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) is an organization to support students in business creation.

American Marketing Association (AMA) focuses on students in marketing and sales professions and holds local and national conferences.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Some colleges have developed their own organizations to serve students with specific interests or common needs. For example:

Organization of Minority Business Students (OMBUS) is open to minority students in the business program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. OMBUS provides a forum to discuss the concerns of minorities in business as well as organizing study groups and tutoring programs.

Advantages of Being Involved in a Student Organization

As you can see, there are a variety of student organizations for business students that you can become involved in. So, what are the benefits of joining and participating in a student organization?

  • Networking. If you plan to succeed in the business world, you can't start networking too early. Some of the people you meet through these student organizations may impact your career later on.
  • Educational opportunities. Many student organizations have conventions where you will be able to compete with other students and learn about different aspects of the business world.
  • Personal and professional growth. By participating in business student organizations you will gain experience over and above what you can learn in your classrooms. You will be exposed to a variety of business concepts in a hands-on environment that is designed to help you see how the concepts you are learning in class actually play out in the real world.

Membership in any of these organizations, particularly the honor societies specific to business students, is a valuable addition to your resume. Membership shows potential employers that you are someone who goes above and beyond the typical classroom instruction and that you are serious about business.

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