Conant BPA Travels to Harper for Regionals
About 90 Business Professionals of America (BPA) members attended their regional competition Friday, December 5 at Harper College. It was the first BPA competition of the year, with state and nationals following.
Members explain that BPA is a department-specific activity that requires time, responsibility, and dedication. The events vary from interview skills to keyboard production (typing documents). These skills aren’t taught to the students, unless they take a business class, but can be learned outside of school with the help of textbooks and other resources.
Ayesha Mohan, a junior and a BPA member for three years, said that she had to learn on her own and followed the objectives outlining her two events.
The regional level is critical because it’s the first time BPA members will experience the competition that year. After her events, Mohan explained that she thinks they went well but she won’t know for sure because the competition may be more difficult.
Kishan Patel, a senior and BPA member for four years, said that the first contest (if you compete in two) is the one where you break the ice, and, after the first one, you feel a bit more calm.
Patti Ertl, a BPA advisor and business education teacher, said, “We’ve done very well at the regional and state level.” She explained, “We are one of the largest chapters in the entire state and we are one of the most successful…even back then(back when?), we had a lot of success.”
Conant sends at least 50 students to the state level every year, more than anybody else in their area. Their large number of members at regionals along with only three schools competing gives them a slight advantage, but Ertl explained that Conant kids are also strong academically and the students are very committed to their events.
Ertl stated a few of the many benefits students can get out of BPA. “I think one of the best things they get out of it is the real-world application; they have a chance to get in front of judges or take these industry standard exams at different levels…they can see how they compare to other students outside of Conant high school, and then outside the state of Illinois,” She said.
“On the academic side, it is awesome for your college resumes, applications, and job applications,” she continued.
Nikhil Modak, a junior and BPA member for two years said, “[BPA] allows students to get a glimpse of what they could potentially be doing in the future and it’s always nice to get a head start on what you want to do. It’s a nice way for students to expose themselves to the professional world.”
Patel said, “You don’t have to be interested in a career in business professions but it makes you more knowledgable and well-rounded. It’s applicable to everyone because in every career you want to go into, there’s a business aspect to [each one].”
Ertl emphasized the fact that BPA will benefit the students academically, boost their confidence, and give them opportunities for scholarships.
After the competition at Harper College, Modak said, “I got a chance to meet other students from different schools and get a taste of what the professional world is like.”
Scroll through the gallery above to see pictures Conant BPA members have taken to document their time at regionals.