Twenty members of BPA will compete at States in Grand Rapids this weekend


Maria Broecker

Business Professionals of America (BPA) focuses on developing skills for presentations and research work in the business field. Students involved in this club are highly motivated young adults who are interested in pursuing a career in business. Stateswill take place in Grand Rapids from March 19-21.

“Teams and individuals compete in their events at states for three days; there is a lot of down time,” junior Ed Grijalva said.  “BPA offers food, entertainment and whatever the hotel in Grand Rapid offers.”

Co-advisors and business teachersMrs. Laure Gambaro and Mrs. Karen Maslbury prepare students by reviewing previous competition events to generate ideas and improve skills.

“Students can take old contests from past Regional events and practice with [them],” Mrs. Gambaro said.  “[For example], if they are doing a job interview, they can review interviewing techniques.”

BPA meets every Wednesday throughout the year to practice and prepare.

“Rochester’s BPA prepares by holding meetings every other Wednesday and updating students on what to do,” Grijalva said. “Students prepare for their events on their own time.”

Members of BPA feel that the time put into it will contribute positively in the real business world.

“I am a part of BPA because it will help me in the future and will help me connect with business people in the area and have strong connections that will help me get ahead,” junior Nate Kustasz said.

In order to qualify for States, students must finish in the top five in competition throughout the year.

“BPA decides who compete for States by taking the top five contestants from each event,” Grijalva said.  “For team events it’s top two, however, all the events might not even have five contestants so it’s run differently.”

BPA members have high expectations for States this year.

“Rochester should do [well] at states because we have prepared a lot and have put in a lot of work,” Kustasz said.

Mrs. Gambaro agrees.

“We usually have three to five students win at States that qualify for Nationals, which are in Los Angeles this year in May,” Mrs. Gambaro said.

Competition aside, BPA serves as a beneficial and constructive way for students to get involved inside and outside of school while simultaneously encouraging an interest in business.

“[BPA builds] confidence for teenagers and [encourages] teamwork, making friends, competing in events, and having fun,” Mrs. Gambaro said.