The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


Business Brainiacs

Business Professionals of America club looks to incorporate students into business-style job environments
BPA allows students to advance their interests in business-related careers through events ranging from public speaking to Java programming.
Photo contributed
BPA allows students to advance their interests in business-related careers through events ranging from public speaking to Java programming.

Business Professionals of America aims to help students that want to go into a business-related job in the future. It gives students the opportunity to develop the necessary skills needed for these jobs. 

“In BPA we build up our leadership skills,” regional president Manas Kamath said. “We are making sure we are ready for the business world, and we do that by doing assessments in the Workplace Skills Assessment Program (WSAP). BPA also gives us opportunities to lead other students. It makes sure we work not only as a person but as a team and a group as a whole.” 

Teresa Tzaferis sponsors BPA, while Debbie Nolan is the adviser. Nolan explained students in BPA are tested during competitions over the skills they learned in their business classes. 

“We have about 50 different options for them,” Nolan said. “So, if they have been in an accounting class, we have an accounting contest. If they have been in Business Law, we have Business Law contests, computer-science type tests, etc.”

These skills are vital for members to learn before they enter the business world. 

“Some things that they learn are good communication skills, presentation skills, teamwork, which is super important, and just networking and meeting other kids from other schools as they’re doing the competitions,” Nolan said. 

BPA meets every second and fourth Tuesday of every month in Summer Ehresman’s room. This room in particular can help these students out in their business endeavors.

“We chose that room compared to the other ones because Mrs. Ehresman’s tables are rectangular, so we can talk to each other and collaborate with each other,” Kamath said. “I think it’s best when we communicate and make sure everybody knows what’s going on, instead of everyone facing the front and looking at one person.” 

Recently, BPA has seen a huge increase in attendance to the club. Kamath is excited that so many people have taken an interest in the club.

“This year, we had a really big increase in membership. We were expecting about 50 members but 68 people came to the callout meeting,” Kamath said. “Our members did a great job of bringing people in and recruiting people and making sure that they can also work on their business skills and better themselves as a whole.” 

Members compete in multiple competitions throughout the year against thousands of other students. They can win awards that can be put on their resume some day. 

“Those events take place at three competitions, one of them is the Regional Leadership Conference (RLC),” Kamath said. “This takes place at Indiana State University. The next one takes place at the State Leadership Conference, which is in Indianapolis, Indiana. If we qualify, we go to the National Leadership Conference and that’s the final level of these conferences and competitions. This year, it will take place in Chicago.” 

These events have a gigantic turnout every year with the SLC having around 1,500 students who come out to compete. The NLC is more than three times bigger with a turnout of around 7,000 students and about 50-70 students competing in every event. Each student has a different idea to present. 

“We are all at a hotel, and we have these conference rooms where you present something or if you have a project you present it to a judge,” Kamath said. “They would then grade you on how you sold your idea. You explain to them why your idea is the best and why they should win an award for their topic. We have about 30-50 members at the SLC.”

After all of the presenting and judging finishes, everybody comes together to get awards and celebrate what they accomplished that year. 

“The atmosphere is amazing,” Kamath said. “When we have our general session, we come together as a whole organization. We like to shout, celebrate and cheer for what we’ve done here and commemorate our successes. At these championships they have these general sessions where people are presented their awards for the hard work they’ve done. The atmosphere there is so vibrant, it’s so colorful and it’s loud too.” 

In Nolan’s eyes, one of the strongest parts of BPA is the connections it builds between participants. 

“They make a lot of friends within the club, and when they go to state, I see friendships forming,” Nolan said. “The older kids mentor the newer, younger ones. This leads to a lot of the kids becoming leaders.”

Nolan sees the value of BPA in the way it benefits participating students who may not be involved in traditional extracurriculars such as sports. 

“These are ways for kids to be recognized or rewarded for intelligence, not everyone is an athlete,” Nolan said. “Some of them are athletes, but it’s a way to say, I know these skills from this class and I’m getting rewarded and recognized. Then, they get to move on and get more rewards and recognition for doing that.”

The club offers challenges and a level of stress on the members and Nolan as an advisor, but there are times where it is all worth it.

“They love, at the end, getting called on the stage if they qualify to win something,” Nolan said. “They get really excited about getting plaques, trophies, medals and having their name called out. That’s really the part that makes me think, okay, the kids get so excited and they win. This was worth all of the work.” 


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About the Contributor
Riley Dodson
Riley Dodson, Staff Writer
Freshman Riley Dodson is a first year staff writer. He writes student and club features for the website. He is apart of the cross country team and enjoys biking in his free time.

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