Ryan Rim, State Officer Intern, ‘18-19

This week, I had the opportunity to interview Andrew Pajes, who is the president of DVC PBL. DVC PBL is special because, at 150 members, it has the largest membership of all the local chapters. One of the greatest challenges that comes with having so many members is gathering everyone’s attention. But I sensed a common theme among all the members of DVC PBL: a shared sense of community. This was what initially attracted so many members and, in turn, kept them all together.

I recently set up a table for my own local chapter at my school’s club fair with the help of Dillon Johnson and Nanki Ahuja. Dillon is a state officer who manages northern membership and Nanki is a state officer intern. Both of them are members of DVC PBL and I could immediately feel their hospitality. Even though DVC is almost an hour away from my college, both Dillon and Nanki took time out of their days to help me. We met in person only once, during the State Fall Business Leadership Conference, but despite this  they immediately treated me like family.

When I interviewed Andrew Pajes, I also felt a similar vibe. His motto for the organization is, “You come to DVC and we treat you as family.” He noticed most people normally went to school for class and left afterward. Keeping that in mind, he committed to offer DVC PBL as an open, familial environment for all DVC Students. Andrew was actually introduced to PBL by Billy Colston (who was recently featured in the CAPBL Newsroom post about UCSD PBL). According to Andrew, “Billy’s charismatic speech motivated me to stay in PBL.” When I asked Andrew what he would like to see changed at the State and National levels, he replied, “I would like to see more unification among other local chapters. More online interactions, whether it’s offering competitions online or projects, will definitely be helpful.”

With 150 members, I can just imagine the time and effort it takes to organize and manage conference trips. Speaking of conferences, Andrew is “looking forward to see new faces, especially from chapters that don’t usually go to the conferences.” He is also anticipating case study competitions because “they require critical thinking and working as a team.” With so many local chapters getting fired up for spring conference, I personally can’t wait to return to conferences; hopefully with a team instead of as an individual.



Diablo Valley College

President: Andrew Pajes

What was the hardest part about starting (if the chapter was just established) and/or operating your chapter?

The chapter was already established. It currently has around 150 members. Keeping their attention is hard. Our motto is: you come to DVC and we treat you as family. This encourages people to stay in the club. People normally go to school for class and leave. They aren’t there to make friends. But PBL offers them a place with a family environment.

Is there anything you would like to see changed from the state or even the national level?

I would like to see more unification amongst other local chapters. Also more online interactions whether it’s offering competitions online or projects would definitely help a lot especially for bigger chapters since it’s much more convenient.

How did you get involved with PBL?

Billy Colston convinced me to go to the general meeting. Billy’s charismatic speech motivated me to stay in PBL.

What are you looking forward to for the State Business Leadership Conferences?

Definitely networking activities. I’m looking forward to seeing new faces, especially from chapters that usually don’t go to the conferences. I’m also excited for case study competitions because they require critical thinking and working as a team.

For your chapter, do you prioritize more on student acquisition or student retention? And how do you manage that?

Initially I focused on student acquisition but now it’s balanced between the two. I capitalized marketing in the first 2-3 weeks of school, via word of mouth. With regards to student retention, I focus on the current members. We emphasize the MRP System: a recognition program for awarding members for their hard work using tiers of bronze, silver, and gold. Members who reach the gold standard receive special recognition at the bi-annual banquet.