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I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Certified Business Laureate™ (CBL) Program, a member benefit offered by NSCS partner HigherNext. For those of you who are not already aware, the CBL is a comprehensive business skills test that shows future employers your abilities in Microsoft Office, Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and Writing.

Getting signed up for the test was extremely easy! After receiving the program’s information from our favorite eNewsletter, The Scholar Connection, I quickly visited the website using the NSCS-specific link and snatched one of NSCS’s discount (and in my case, free!) test spots.

Once online, I was able to view more information about the test through the candidate profile page. I created a profile with an email address and password, signed in and selected a time within one of the testing windows that was best according to my own schedule. My profile page also provided free study resources to brush up on the topics that I had gotten rusty on and even small sections of each area that were new to me. I found reviewing the material personally rewarding as I recalled my days sitting through business classes and wonderful discussions with people who shared my interests and goals.

When it came time to take the test, I did so comfortably and from my own computer because the CBL is virtually proctored. Like any test, I studied and got a good night’s rest, being well prepared for the next day. The test went very quickly. I passed through each section, proceeding to the next and before I knew it the test was over. My scores were immediate. I was able to log on to my profile and instantly get a score report and accompanying letter of recommendation to share with prospective employers.

Now that I have completed my test, I can send my score report to potential employers, my current employer, or even professional groups that I’d like to join. By simply participating in the CBL Program, I’ve been able to distinguish myself from all of the other business degree holding ‘competition,’ giving me the opportunity to stand out in a very crowded space. Everybody is competing for the same job opportunities and recognition. From my perspective, I thought – ‘What can I do to push forward from everyone else?’

I think the CBL Program is beneficial to everyone interested in pursuing a job in a business field. Break away from the competition, revitalize your enthusiasm, or just do it because hey, it’s free*! Register to take the CBL business skills test here.

*The CBL test is free for the first 1,000 NSCS members, so register immediately! All other NSCS members will receive a substantial discount.


Angie Marticorena is a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and a NSCS Social Media Ambassador. She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University as well as The University of Texas at Dallas School of Management. She has a strong passion for business, and is currently working on forming her own marketing and business services company with her husband. She hopes to optimize organizations, and challenge the status quo. Follow her on Twitter @angiemmarshall or visit her website at