FBLA provides Berta skills for a lifetime

Jon Englert
Student reporter

Last weekend, Coal City High School’s chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) met at a state leadership conference in Springfield with over 1,500 FBLA members from across Illinois.
Helping organize the annual conference was senior Nick Berta who has serves on FBLA’s State Executive Council in the role of Central Northern Area vice president.
When the conference was over, I  sat down with Nick to talk about his experience in FBLA.
He joined the organization his sophomore year and after attending his first state leadership conference in 2016, he decided he wanted to assume a state officer position in FBLA, which he accomplished at an area conference last year.
He became the area president in 2017, which also translates to being the state vice president from the Central Northern area. Berta is Coal City’s first FBLA state officer.
As a sophomore, Berta was motivated to join FBLA because he believes that this organization is very unique in what it offers to students.
He will tell you FBLA is different from other school clubs. “It pertains to something bigger than just school itself.” Berta commented. “In FBLA, students learn skills that will translate into their future.”
Now a senior, Berta reflects on how FBLA has helped him prepare for his future.
“This organization has helped me with my public speaking abilities and it has given me insight as to what a job interview is like and how to best fill out application forms,” he said.
 Being of such high stature in the organization, Berta is more proactive when it comes to managing groups of people, which could also benefit his future.     FBLA has helped Berta decide that he wants to pursue a career in computer technology, and he is grateful that his experiences have given him the skills necessary to be successful.
There have been some points where FBLA has challenged him to step up. Being a state officer is no easy task, but Berta mentions that the most difficult aspect about it was meeting with the 10 other state officers throughout Illinois.
“It is hard because you are so ambitious going into the year and you have so many expectations on how you want things to play out, but those things do not always come to fruition due to complications in finding time for all of the officers to meet together and communicate,” he said.
Although, the good outweighs the bad in Berta’s three years with FBLA. His favorite memory is placing first in state for mobile application development last year during the state leadership conference. This gave him the opportunity to go to the national conference in Anaheim, CA.
“That was an experience unlike anything else. It was so cool to be surrounded by 12,000 different FBLA members with the same goal and initiative that I have,” Berta said.
His advice to future FBLA members is, “Do not be scared to take that leap because it is going to pay off in the end and you will be thankful for joining. Its truly life changing for a high school student,” he said.
“Meeting people across the state is something that does not happen a lot in high school with other clubs. Do not lose your drive and do not forget what led you to want to join in the first place.”