Ryan Rim, State Officer Intern ‘18-19

I had the opportunity to interview Billy, the President of UC San Diego’s PBL chapter. As a CAPBL State Officer Intern and an aspiring founder of a local chapter, I wanted to delve deeper into the workings of a local chapter. Billy, who is currently the president of UCSD chapter and the state president, first got involved with PBL while he was attending Diablo Valley College. Although he wasn’t initially interested, he was inspired by the people in the organization. After talking to some of the members, he ended up being recruited.

Before Billy took over as the president of the UCSD chapter, the culture within the organization was completely different. As Billy put it, “many people left the organization due to the culture. The [previous] board’s vision wasn’t translating because they lacked accountability.” Billy’s top priority was to restructure the image of the chapter and change the lackluster culture that consumed his local chapter. When asked what changes he would like to see within the state and national levels, Billy responded, “It would be better [for California PBL] to communicate with local chapters more. I want to connect with more members and chapters across California. As for the national level, it would be nice to see more conferences in the west coast because it’s hard to finance coast to coast trips.”

Two of the biggest events hosted by California PBL are the State Business Leadership Conferences held in the Fall and Spring of each year. I asked Billy what is he looking forward to in the conferences as both a state President and the UCSD chapter President. Billy is looking forward to instituting new ideas and hopes that state continues to develop innovative ideas and implement them into the conferences.

During last year’s fall conference, I personally participated in a new event called the Incubator Competition. There were four 20 minute elimination rounds to create a business plan from scratch. My team and I ended up placing first place even though none of us ever met before. It was definitely an exciting competition that truly put each person’s communication skills to the test. I can’t wait to see what California PBL has planned for the Spring Business Leadership Conference!



UC San Diego

President: Billy Colston

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

The chapter was already established. The hardest part about operating the chapter was changing the culture. Previous board members’ visions weren’t translating due to the lack of sincerity, and previous board members lacked accountability. Therefore, a lot of people left the organization. My main goal was to restructure the image of the chapter.

Is there anything you would like to see changed from the State or even the National level?

From the state level, it would be better to see more communication with local chapters. I want to connect with more members and chapters across California. At the national level, it would be nice to see more conferences in the west coast. It’s hard to finance coast to coast trips.

How did you get involved with PBL?

I was inspired by the people in the organization at DVC. I talked to some people and ended up getting recruited. I like to surround myself with other like-minded motivated individuals.

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

I am looking forward to instituting new ideas. I hope state continues to develop new ideas and implement into the conferences.

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

Both. Last year I focused more on student acquisition. To operate a successful chapter, acquisition should come first and then retention. We emphasized alumni initiative. We created different projects to incentivize members to dedicate their time and effort into being active within the organization. Exposure to different industries definitely attracted new members. I like to work on meaningful projects.