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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.

Summer Business Leadership Academy

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

High school business students, plan now to apply for the Summer Business Leadership Academy at Mercy College in New York. This one week camp is an opportunity for serious business students to learn more about the world of business. Students will be exposed to real world executives and learn what it takes to become a leader. This is a highly selective one week course that is tuition and dorm free.

Who: High school students

What: Summer Business Leadership Academy

Where: Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York

When: The Leadership Academy is held during a five week period in June and July. On the application, students will choose one week when they would be available to attend.

Why: Learn about the world of business from top ranked professors and industry leaders and tour Fortune 500 businesses.

How: Click HERE to apply.

Deadline: Application due by Wednesday, January 15, 2014.

For more information visit: Mercy College School of Business

Watch: Highlights from the 2013 Summer Business Leadership Academy


Become a Microsoft Office Specialist

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Students across the state of Utah have the opportunity to become certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) by taking MOS certified exams. Business teachers who have received training and are experts in this area are encouraging their students to take the exam in Word, Excel, and/or PowerPoint in order to be certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist. Becoming certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist gives students a competitive edge in the job market by displaying advanced Microsoft Office skills.

Brandon Jacobson, Business Education teacher at North Sanpete High School, tells about his experience with teaching, training, and giving MOS exams.

“MOAC, MOS, Certiport; some may think that this is a different language. It isn’t…it is the learning system within the Computer Technology class. In fact, within the first weeks of class these brilliant computer technology students have a pretty good understanding of what these strange, perhaps stimulating words mean. Students at North Sanpete High School are taking the challenge head-on to become a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS). This is accomplished by taking a certifying exam through Certiport Exams. These test are an industry standard offered worldwide. It is amazing that these students will become more qualified in Word, PowerPoint, or Excel than some of their parents and possibly some executives and associates in high paying salaries. The challenge then transforms into new talent, untapped aptitude, and expertise to succeed with confidence.

“A state representative has asked how we are helping students to compete in the job market and become prepared for advanced education and professional expertise. Our answer is simple; this is the class that will assist in both of those areas significantly. Papers, charts, financial applications, and presentations will be prepared, designed, and displayed in a way that allows for the enhanced learning, specific explanation, and overall comprehension of that work they have prepared…simply because they took pride and applied what they learned. As an educator, a sense of gratification and satisfaction is felt when students have elevated their work by applying the concepts and skill set they acquire while in your class(es).

“Last semester (Spring 2013), when the last week was upon us many students were eager to skip the designated times of signing yearbooks, and hanging with their classmates in order to have the opportunity to take a certification exam. It seemed a little strange when some students would ask if they could come and take an exam prior to the school year being over. I mentioned many times that their grades were final and that it would not add any extra credit. However, I feel they valued the demonstration of skill and advancement in knowledge. During that spring semester we experienced a total of 87 certifying exams. 75 total students passed exams. 75 passed Word, of those 75 that passed Word, 7 students tried and passed Excel, and 5 had enough time to take and pass PowerPoint. 75 individuals have become better prepared for employment and college.

“I am now teaching about 120 students. This will reflect upwards of 360 tests by the end of January 2014. Did I say tests? I meant certified exams accomplished and passed. That is four times more than last year. I hope to see each student excel and accomplish his or her own goals. I look forward to them gaining skills and confidence in themselves and this program. This MOS platform, albeit very detailed and quite complex, has the propensity to challenge and trigger genuine growth.

Microsoft Office Specialists at North Sanpete High School

If you’re interested in becoming certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist talk to the business teacher in your school for details.

Students Score Highest in the State in Microsoft Office Specialist Exams

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Congratulations to Joseph Stanley and Wade Beveridge, two ninth-grade students from Orem Junior High School, who scored the highest in the state of Utah for two Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams. Joseph scored 950 on the Excel exam and Wade scored 914 on the PowerPoint exam. In May, both students were recognized by the Utah State Office of Education and Certiport at Orem Junior High Schools annual 9th grade awards assembly. Joseph and Wade received a certificate, a trophy, and a personal copy of Microsoft Office 2013.

Phil Hanney and Joseph Stanley

As a result of their high score, Joseph and Wade had the opportunity to compete in the national Microsoft Office Specialist competition held in Park City on June 11-13, 2013, where they competed against 28 student finalists representing 15 states.

“I am so proud of the great efforts both Joseph and Wade put into learning Microsoft Office. They both worked hard not only in my class, but also in their other classes and in extra-curricular activities. They represented our school and state extremely well at the national competition in Park City. Both Wade and Joseph are great examples of what self-discipline, conscientiousness, and perseverance is all about,” said Phil Hanney, CTE teacher at Orem Junior High School.

Wade Beveridge and Phil Hanney

Do you like formatting documents, creating spreadsheets, or developing electronic presentations? Are you proficient in a Microsoft Office program—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, SharePoint, and OneNote? Utah students can become certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist by taking an MOS exam at one of the 41 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.

Students who certify as a Microsoft Office Specialist qualify—highest score, lowest time—to compete in the state, national, and world competition. Talk to the business or information technology (IT) teacher in your school for details.

Who: Utah middle/junior high and high school students
What: 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist National Competition
Where: Atlanta, Georgia
When: June 2014 (Specific date will be posted at www.certiport.com.)

Utah FBLA Students Place in Top 10 at National Competition

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

By Luke Searle, FBLA State President

The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) 2013 National Leadership Conference was one that will not be soon forgotten. Students from across the country gathered in Anaheim, California, to show off their abilities and connect with members everywhere. Utah FBLA had great success in the national competition, having students from all over the state make it to finals and place in their events. Morgan Mitchell, from Park City High School, earned 1st Place in the Job Interview competition. What an accomplishment! 

Morgan  Mitchell

This conference also gave members the opportunity to meet and network with other members all over the nation. Our state officer team not only enhanced our relationships within our team, but also observed how other state chapters worked and what could be learned from their success. Being a few hundred feet away from the happiest place on earth (Disneyland) wasn’t too bad either.

At the conference, Taylorsville High School FBLA student members
spell UTAH using their light sabers.

View the list of Utah FBLA National Competition Winners