The week before Spring Break, 20 students from Northeast Technology Center’s Afton Campus attended the Business Professionals of America State (BPA) Competition in Tulsa, and one of those students – Macyn Keller – is advancing to the national competition.
“I couldn’t believe I placed first again,” Keller said. “I thought, ‘Was that really my name they just called?’ My hard work paid off!”
Under the advisement of instructors Kali Ward and Melanie Carnes, the 20 students from NTC Afton participated in numerous competition categories, each of which had its own unique requirements. Students are able to compete in everything from graphic design and 3D modeling to public speaking and office administration. Keller, a second year student from Vinita, earned her second consecutive first place finish in the Entrepreneurship competition.
“I had to create a legitimate business plan, including research based financials, items to promote my business and a presentation over the business plan,” said Keller. “The financials were the most challenging part, because I had to provide research based numbers.”
Business Professionals of America (BPA) is one of the Career and Technical Student Organizations available to students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology and other related career fields. With more than 45,000 members across the nation, BPA is a co-curricular organization that supports business and information technology educators by offering co-curricular exercises based on national standards.
Of the 20 students who participated in the BPA State Competition this year, Keller was the only student who placed high enough to advance to the BPA National Competition; however, two of her classmates also made it to the winner’s podium. Logan Lanning from Quapaw and his teammate Wyatt Riley from Blue Jacket placed third in Website Design, but only the top two finishers advance to nationals.
“I’m always so proud of the effort my students put forth in preparing for these competitions, and I’m thrilled that Macyn’s hard work paid off with another first place finish this year,” Ward said. “I know she will do well at nationals, especially since she knows what to expect at the next level of competition.”
Keller and Ward will travel to Orlando, Florida, on May 9-14 for the BPA National Competition.
“Between now and then, I’ll be catching up on course work, and fine tuning my business plan and presentation,” Keller said. “My focus is on the presentation aspect, I need to slow my presentation down and work on word enunciation. I want the judges to want to take my music class because I sold my business plan to them in such a convincing manner.”
As was true of the state competition, BPA Nationals will also offer participants plenty of opportunities for learning via workshops, networking and one-of-a-kind lecture sessions from industry experts. At the BPA State Competition, for example, students were able to meet the woman behind the voice of Siri. The BPA National Competition will offer many similar professional development opportunities for students, as well as plenty of fun activities to celebrate their accomplishment.
“I’m ready to compete! I love competition and getting to represent NTC is a great honor,” said Keller. “It’s a really big deal to place first two years in a row at state and getting to represent my great state of Oklahoma leaves me speechless.”