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Whitney Koehn photo with national award

Nebraska Wesleyan University student Whitney Koehn smiles with her fifth-place award at the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference. The Elmwood-Murdock graduate earned the national honor in the marketing concepts contest at the conference.

BALTIMORE, Md. – Whitney Koehn traveled to Maryland for a national business competition with a distinguished resume already in her portfolio.

She polished her business credentials even more with a major award in a prestigious contest.

Koehn captured fifth place in the marketing concepts category at the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference. The forum took place June 23-26 at the Baltimore Convention Center in downtown Baltimore. More than 1,800 college students from across the country took part in 61 competitive events throughout the conference.

Koehn said she was excited to earn a national honor in a competition filled with many experienced peers.

“The event was open to PBL collegiate members and professional members so I was competing against other college students as well as adults in the field,” Koehn said. “I was thrilled to win fifth place in marketing concepts because marketing is my major, so I know that my knowledge in the area will be very helpful. I honestly didn’t even know if I would make it on stage, let alone place in the top five!”

Koehn represented Nebraska Wesleyan University during the PBL competition. She began her freshman campaign this past fall and enjoyed a seamless transition from Elmwood-Murdock High School to the NWU campus. Her fellow PBL members elected her to an officer role for the 2017-18 year and vice president for 2018-19.

“I have really enjoyed being a part of Nebraska Wesleyan’s chapter of PBL because I have had the chance to really get involved, serving as the community service event coordinator this past year and being elected vice president of the chapter this coming year,” Koehn said. “Nebraska Wesleyan did very well at this year’s conference with all four members that competed placing in the top ten in their event. I know that we will continue to grow as a chapter and make a name for NWU at the national level.”

The marketing concepts category consists of a 60-minute test administered at the national conference. Koehn and other competitors were required to display their knowledge in topics such as marketing research, marketing strategies, e-marketing, international marketing and legal and social aspects of marketing.

Koehn was one of three students from Nebraska who qualified for the national marketing concepts contest earlier this school year. She then spent a large amount of time studying for the PBL test prior to the trip to Baltimore. She completed her exam within the required time limit and then waited for the results to be revealed at an awards ceremony.

Koehn and her NWU teammates celebrated when her name was announced as the fifth-place winner. Other students who finished in the top ten of the marketing concepts contest were from Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arkansas.

Koehn said her time at Elmwood-Murdock created a solid foundation for her collegiate success. She participated in Future Business Leaders of America throughout her high school career and was a four-time qualifier for the State Leadership Conference. She participated in the FBLA National Leadership Conference three times.

“E-M FBLA has played a huge role in preparing me for the collegiate level PBL,” Koehn said. “E-M has always been one of the top chapters in the state and I learned quite a bit from all three of the advisors I had while I was a part of it (Kurk Shrader, Laura Rikli and Jacob Shaffer). Being a part of such a successful high school chapter really gave me the skills I needed to be successful in college business classes as well as in PBL.”

Koehn and other students at the PBL National Leadership Conference took part in many activities during their trip. They listed to motivational speakers, visited a large exhibit hall, participated in educational workshops, voted for national delegates and toured several sites in Baltimore.

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