MAS students take business skills to nationals
By Marta Johnson
Learning life and business skills is usually something most people figure they’ll do on their own throughout life, but some Minnewaska Area high school students are choosing to pursue learning more about these skills through a program called Business Professionals of America (BPA).
Emily Harste, Christina Talberg, Julia Hoffmann, Shayla Hollenbeck, Madelynn Reichmann and Anna Vold have been working all year on their projects and have all done well in tournaments; all six went to state this year, and three will advance to nationals.
BPA is a co-curricular organization that allows students to participate in events that simulate careers in business management, office administration, information technology and other related career fields. Events include accounting, integrated office applications, computer security, digital publishing, interviewing and more. With over 80 events to choose from, the students are sure to find something they’re interested in.
Some events are intermediate and advanced versions of simpler ones, such as college accounting and advanced college accounting. The students are allowed three events per year and decide them in the fall.
This year, Madelynn Reichmann, Anna Vold and Christina Talberg decided to do an event together, a news broadcast, and are advancing to the national level in Orlando, Fla., from May 10-14.
The three girls had to write their own script and do their own filming and editing for this project. The finished product had to be less than five minutes and submitted by a certain date to qualify for regionals, state and nationals. While they had to learn how to do video editing and shooting, they all agreed that it was a fun event.
During the competitions, the girls present their video to a panel of judges, who then ask questions and decide if the team can continue to the next level. The judges give feedback and the students are able to make changes to the video for the next competition.
“BPA isn’t just about business skills,” Reichmann added, “we also have to talk in front of people, do volunteer and community service projects. What we do in BPA is unique I think.” One of the projects the students hope to do is help with the Special Olympics that are held in Alexandria.
“People can get really into it,” Hoffman said of the BPA program. “You can be a state officer and work to be recognized at the national level.”
But those in BPA certainly don’t have to work toward being an officer or being recognized at the national level. Any student in grades 9-12 can be in BPA and learn more about business and life skills as well as contribute to the community through various projects. All six girls will be returning next year to BPA.