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Desiree Descartes: Working Her Way to the Top

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Name: Desiree Descartes

Hometown: Miami, Florida

Year: Senior

Age: 21

Major: Philosophy and Economics 

Courtesy: Desiree Descartes

Her Campus (HC): How did you first get involved with FBLA-Phi Beta Lambda?

Desiree Descartes (DD): I started with FBLA in middle school and picked up with the college level here at Florida State after transferring. FBLA is in middle school and high school. Phi Beta Lambda is the collegiate division. Even after graduating college, you can do a professional division.

HC: Where did you transfer from before coming to Florida State?

DD: I transferred from Miami Dade College as a junior. When you’re transferring into the university level I feel like people are intimidated jumping into clubs because they haven’t been here since freshman year.

HC: What motivated you to apply for the executive board of FBLA-PBL?

DD: Last year we had a really small membership and I was a very active member. Throughout the semester people started to dissipate and couldn’t commit the time. I was just always there and trying to help. I was really involved last year and wanted to do the executive board since I was already an involved member. So I just decided to take an official position as Vice President of Finances because I wanted a leadership role.

HC: What’s FBLA-PBL main goal?

DD: The club is all about professional development. We have competitions every spring on the district, state and national levels. There are at least 40 to 50 events under all areas of careers. You can do accounting, finance, marketing, anything. Anything that could relate to the business world. When these competitions come up, we study and prepare a lot before going to the conferences. I went to states last year. Every college in the state with a PBL chapter attends. There’s a lot of networking and speakers on professional development.

Courtesy: Desiree Descartes

HC: Is FBLA-PBL involved with any other organizations on campus?

DD: Recently, we’ve been helping out with the FSU Food Pantry. We’re also planning on assisting the staff during American Heart Association’s Big Bend Heart Walk. The walk is coming up in November at Cascades Park. We’re trying to get involved with community service more. It’s something were trying to do on top of professional development.  

HC: How do you think FBLA-PBL helped prepare you for the future? Like with internships and the future job search?

DD: We have an alumni advisor who owns his own marketing company and went to FSU. He actually initiated this chapter. He’s really helped us with professional development and giving us resources to reach out to other professionals. The club’s aim is to culture you and introduce you to the business world. It helps give us a step into the real world so we don’t feel afraid when we get into the job market.

HC: How do you find a balance between studying philosophy and economics?

DD: They’re actually more alike than people think. Economics is sometimes called the ‘dismal science’ and I could see how people think philosophy is very different. Philosophy is more open-ended while economics is more final and definite. The tools I get from both of those majors give me some common core analytical skills. Economics analyzes graphs and numbers. Philosophy analyzes papers and work by other philosophers. They both utilize critical thinking.

Courtesy: Desiree Descartes

HC: What’s some of the best advice you could give an incoming freshman?

DD: Get involved and actually stay active. Members join FBLA-PBL and come to initial meetings but once classes start they drop out. It’s so important to make things a priority and stay involved.

HC: What are some of the thoughts you had when applying for internships?

DD: I was looking for something either related to past work experience or something specifically in my career field. Like business administration or a general business and finance internship. I was targeting specific internships. Right now I’m working for Whirlpool as a part-time sales representative intern. It’s basically a full time job, like as professional as you can get and it’s also very independent. I make my own schedule and have to initiate everything myself. It has a high level of responsibility.

HC: Can you give us one tip for landing a great internship?

DD: Look up the company and their possible interview questions. Indeed and Glassdoor are great resources. Write and verbally practice answers, it makes you look very prepared. But don’t overdo it, you have to seem genuine.

Daniella is a senior at Florida State University, double majoring in Communications and English with a concentration in Editing, Writing and Media. She aspires to work as a writer at a publication dedicated to fashion, art, pop culture, and overall creativity. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, watching films, discovering new music, and contemplating life in the shower.
Her Campus at Florida State University.