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Become a Certified Microsoft Office Specialist

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Bear River_IT_IMG_0672Do you like formatting documents, creating spreadsheets, or developing electronic presentations? Are you proficient in a Microsoft Office program—Word, Excel, or PowerPoint? If you answered yes, you can become certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) by taking a MOS exam at one of the 74 testing sites in Utah. Becoming certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist will give you a competitive edge in the job market by displaying your advanced Microsoft Office skills.

Utah students, age 13 to 22, are eligible to participate in one of six competition tracks by submitting a qualified, passing score on any of the following exams by May 1, 2015:
>Microsoft Office Specialist Word (2013 or 2010)
>Microsoft Office Specialist Excel (2013 or 2010)
>Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint (2013 or 2010)

To date, Utah students have taken almost 12,000 exams and passed more than 6,000 exams. In addition, more than 5,800 Utah students have certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist.

Students who certify as a Microsoft Office Specialist qualify—highest score, lowest time—to compete in the state, national, and world competition. At the 2015 Microsoft Office Specialist Utah State Championship, now through May 1, 2015, student competitors will showcase their expert skills using Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint and the top winners, one per track, will represent Utah at the 2015 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship in Orlando, Florida June 18–20, 2015.

In May 2015, invitations to the U.S. National Championship will be extended to top students from Utah who have entered a qualified exam entry. During the 2015 MOS U.S. National Championship event, student competitors will take a unique competition exam in their track, further testing their knowledge of the applications. In conjunction with the event, Certiport will host the inaugural 2015 CERTIFIED Educator Conference. CERTIFIED will be a place for teachers who offer certification in their classrooms to share best practices, learn what is new, and learn why certification is valuable.

“The growing popularity of MOS certification in Utah shows our dedication to college and workforce readiness, and the competition is a way to get kids even more excited,” said Laura deShazo, Utah State Office of Education. “We look forward to seeing students perfect their Microsoft skills and represent our state at the MOS U.S. National Championship. Being named best in the state at Microsoft Office is a resume booster and an experience the winners will never forget.”

May 1, 2015 is the deadline for students to enter the MOS U.S. National Championship. For official rules, prizes, promotional materials, and current rankings talk to the business or Information Technology (IT) teacher in your school, or visit 2015 MOS Utah State Championship.

SAVE THE DATE:
2015 MOS U.S. National Championship
Who: Utah middle/junior high and high school students
What: 2015 Microsoft Office Specialist National Championship
Where: Orlando, Florida
When: June 18-20, 2015

My CTE Internship at Esplin-Weight Attorneys at Law

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

By Bilmer Chacon, student at Spanish Fork High School

Bilmer ChaconHello, my name is Bilmer Chacon. I am a senior attending Spanish Fork High School. My career goals for the future are to go into law or the computer science industry, so I have been interning at Esplin-Weight Attorneys at Law in Provo, Utah to find out more about one of my career interests.

Esplin-Weight is a law firm handling a variety of cases from adoptions to business matters and divorces. I have had the opportunity to intern with Trent Cahill, one of the firms’ attorneys. Each day when I arrive he updates me on current cases he is working on, how he will handle the case and what approach he plans to take to assist the client. I have been taught to make and file documents and have been able to attend and learn about different aspects of the court. Each employee at Esplin-Weight has been instrumental in explaining things I didn’t understand, showing me what they do in their different jobs, and providing information on what it takes to become a lawyer.

So far I have loved everything I’ve learned. Even though it will be a challenge to become a lawyer, thanks to the people at Esplin-Weight, it is now something I think I can do and that I would enjoy doing!

 

Meet Zach Eberhard

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Zach EberhardZach Eberhard, a senior at Taylorsville High School, has been enthusiastically involved in FBLA since the start of his sophomore year. Zach served as last year’s chapter president at Taylorsville High School. Aside from FBLA he likes to participate in his school’s jazz band, music committee, choir, and math club. Zach feels very humbled to be the Utah FBLA state president. He is happy to be serving Utah FBLA members and is excited to show the rest of the state what FBLA is all about.

Join Zach and become a member of FBLA. Contact your school counselor to get connected with the FBLA advisor in your school.

 

FBLA Week is February 8-14, 2015

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

National FBLA officers 2014FBLA-PBL student members in chapters across the nation will be celebrating FBLA-PBL Week February 8-14, 2015. Members are encouraged to publicize their activities, boost their membership, and gear up for spring events.

Monday, February 9, 2015
National Presidents Forum and Fight to the Finish
All three division national presidents (FBLA, PBL, and the Professional Division) will host a live Internet broadcast to kick of FBL-PBL Week. The Fight to the Finish contest recognizes the top 10 states with the most completed Business Achievement Awards.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Each One Reach One Day
Talk to peers and community members about your FBLA-PBL experiences and ask them to join your chapter.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Adviser Appreciation Day/Professional Attire Day
Dress for success and show appreciation for those that teach, lead, and mentor your chapter.

Thursday, February 12, 2015
Career Awareness Day
Get involved with your Professional Division and connect with community leaders.

Friday, February 13, 2015
Community Service Day
Choose a community service project to support. Suggested activities include working with the March of Dimes, volunteering at a homeless shelter, or conducting a blood drive.

The mission of FBLA-PBL is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.

Megan Sherman: Internship to Ownership

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Megan Sherman blogMegan Sherman, a junior at Westlake High School, dreamed about owning her own business in the wedding industry since she was 15 years old. In April 2012, she contacted the owner (Carol Kingston) of Creative Wedding Events and asked for a job, any job, in her company. Megan was hired as a decorative assistant and began learning about the $53.4 billion wedding industry.

In 2013, when Megan met with her academic advisor, it was suggested that Megan participate in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Internship where she would earn graduation credit for her work at Creative Wedding Events. “The paperwork was quickly put in order and the internship became official. Little did anyone know that I was about to embark on a journey that would shape not only my future, but that of Creative Wedding Events as well,” says Megan.

In October 2013, Megan and Carol decorated a small barn owned by Linden Nursery in Lindon, Utah. The barn was occasionally rented out for weddings and other special events. “While cleaning up at the end of a wedding, Carol, Adam, and I casually discussed the outcome of the event. While working, a passing comment was made about how amazing it would be to turn the barn into an official wedding reception center. A good laugh was had and the moment passed; however, a spark had been lit that would turn into an idea for the ages,” says Megan.

Months later, that spark, that idea turned into a reality when Carol, Adam, and Megan approached the owners (Ed and Valerie Platt) of the barn with a business proposal to turn the barn into a reception center. “The proposal highlighted the desires of the team to embrace and enhance the storied culture of the nursery. Additionally, the proposal detailed the steps the [team] would take to convert the existing barn into a full-fledged wedding reception center. . .As fate would have it [the owners of the barn] saw the value of the proposition and agreed to allow the plan to move forward,” said Megan.

On April 1, 2014, The Barn at Linden Nursery officially opened its doors. The collective efforts of Carol, Megan, and Adam have so far proved successful. In five weeks, more than 30 weddings were booked. “As the primary consultant, Megan has done wonders working with potential clients, providing tours of the building, and working to coordinate event details. Each day brings new opportunities for her to show her skills,” says Carol.

Megan is focused on building a detailed marketing plan for The Barn at Linden Nursery, and has been given the responsibility of planning and preparing the business for the bridal expo in September 2014. As Megan continues to work with Carol at Creative Wedding Events and marketing The Barn at Linden Nursery she will complete her transition from internship to ownership.

Work-Based Learning lets students see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities. If you’re interested in participating in a CTE Internship talk to the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at your school.

Utah FBLA Members Shine at National Competition

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Utah FBLA members recently returned from Nashville, Tennessee where they competed in 60 competitive events at the 2014 FBLA National Leadership Conference June 29-July 2. This year, attendance was at a record high with just over 10,500 FBLA student members and advisers joining the conference from across the country. Ninety-two Utah FBLA students advanced to the national finals, from the state competition held in March, and many were victorious in their events. View the list of winners HERE.

“Congratulations to all who attended and represented Utah. This was by far the toughest competition we have ever encountered in our organization,” said Duke Di
Stefano, Utah FBLA-PBL State Director.

Beginning in the fall, Utah FBLA members will prepare for region and then state competitions. Each first place winner, from the state competition, will advance to the 2015 FBLA National Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois, June 29-July 2.

Utah Students Arrive at FBLA 2014 National Leadership Conference

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Today FBLA first place state winners from across the country assemble in Nashville, Tennessee to compete in leadership events at the FBLA 2014 National Leadership Conference. Utah FBLA student members will compete in over 60 competitive events during the four-day conference, June 29-July 2.

Join the conference by watching a live stream of the FBLA Awards of Excellence Program on Wednesday, July 2 at 6:00 p.m. (CDT).

View Conference Program
Follow FBLA on Twitter #NLC2014
Like FBLA on Facebook #NLC2014

View the list of Utah state winners. The first place winner from each category is in Nashville to compete at the FBLA 2014 National Leadership Conference.

“On behalf of your board of directors, national staff, and national officer team, welcome to Nashville and the 2014 National Leadership Conference! Let this program serve as your passport to network with your peers, attend dynamic workshops, prepare for competitions, and continue to help you put Excellence in Action! Take advantage of this conference and city to maximize your learning and leadership experience.”

–Jean M. Buckley, FBLA-PBL, Inc. President and CEO

FBLA: Excellence in Action

Meet Aimee Taylor: Future Business Owner

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Aimee Taylor, a senior at Union High School in Duchesne School District recently received a CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award to Utah Valley University. Below, Aimee tells about the class that influenced her career decision.

“Throughout my entire high school experience I have wondered what I would do after high school. What I would make a career out of and use to start my life as an adult? What did I want to do with the rest of my life and how would I prepare to do these things?

“The past four years of high school has helped me make the decisions to answer these questions. I took many classes that I thought would be relevant and help with my decisions. I took agricultural, welding, automotive, and business courses. During the first semester of last year, I took an Accounting 1 class for a math credit and ended up really enjoying the class. I knew after taking this class, and another accounting class, that I wanted to make a career out of accounting.

“My career goal now is to be successful in the accounting and business fields. I have been taking [concurrent enrollment] classes at Uintah Basin Applied Technology College (UBATC) that have hopefully helped me prepare for my college experience at Utah Valley University (UVU).

“My biggest personal non-career goal is to make a change in whatever way possible. There are so many who don’t have the opportunity to go to college and achieve their goal of getting a degree and I would like to one day make it possible for those who are not as fortunate. As a business owner I would be in a position to offer scholarships to eligible students.

“In order to be successful in achieving these goals I’m going to work hard, study, do my best in my classes, and meet the challenges that come my way. I’m ready and anxious to begin my future.”

  Aimee Taylor
Union High School

 

 

 Left: Blair Carruth, Assistant Commissioner, Utah System of Higher Education
Middle: Aimee Taylor
Right: Jared Haines, Vice President, Utah College of Applied Technology

 

Meet Caden Bushell: Future Business Manager

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

“When I was in sixth grade I decided that I wanted to gain an education and become the first in my family to earn a college degree. Now that I am a senior, that goal to earn a college degree is underway. I will graduate [from high school] with 22 college credits and will be ready to continue on that path.

“My short-term education goal is to earn an associate degree in business. I aspire to lead others by example. I like being challenged and I would enjoy seeing progress from applying the skills I have learned.

“I enjoy learning about things that will make me more successful in the future. That is a big reason why I chose to take CTE classes in high school. With the Business Leadership [class] I wanted to understand the business side of a company and all of the pieces that go together to make any business successful. I am glad I have learned all that I have in my CTE courses. They have taught me that you need hard work, dedication, and discipline to achieve anything you aspire to do. I am glad I have taken advantage of all the educational opportunities available to me so that I can become a better person.”

Caden Bushell
Jordan High School

 

 Left: Blair Carruth, Assistant Commissioner, Utah System of Higher Education
Middle: Caden Bushell
Right: Jared Haines, Vice President, Utah College of Applied Technology

UtahCTE.org congratulates Caden Bushell on the CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award he received to Dixie State University. Caden was one of 96 students honored at the CTE Scholarships and Tuition Awards banquet on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

Celebrate FBLA Week

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

By James Carrington, Utah FBLA Central Region VP

FBLA chapters across the state of Utah are preparing for FBLA week, February 10-15, by planning activities to promote the FBLA organization, encourage school loyalty, show gratitude towards advisers, and develop business leadership. Chapters have planned activities that range from pizza parties with members to hosting business speakers in their community.

FBLA week gives chapters an opportunity to publicize their activities and successes, boost membership, and gear up for spring activities. Events hosted by local FBLA chapters include business dress day, game day, school spirit day, adviser appreciation day, FBLA luncheon, career awareness day, community service day, and a closing social. As chapters across the state of Utah celebrate FBLA week, members will have the opportunity to participate in amazing activities.

If you are not a member of FBLA, and would like to become a member, talk to your school counselor to get connected with the FBLA adviser in your school.