Hoffman’s BPA sets sights on advancing in competition

BPA+team+members+prepare+for+the+event+Parliamentary+Procedures+Team.%0A%28from+left+to+right%3A+Emily+Hunt%2C+Meghna+Dasgupta%2C+Manushi+Shah%2C+Matthew+Heroldt%2C+Mihir+Patel%2C+Rushil+Patel%2C+and+Hinal+Patel%29+
BPA team members prepare for the event Parliamentary Procedures Team.
(from left to right: Emily Hunt, Meghna Dasgupta, Manushi Shah, Matthew Heroldt, Mihir Patel, Rushil Patel, and Hinal Patel)

BPA team members prepare for the event Parliamentary Procedures Team. (from left to right: Emily Hunt, Meghna Dasgupta, Manushi Shah, Matthew Heroldt, Mihir Patel, Rushil Patel, and Hinal Patel)

BPA team members prepare for the event Parliamentary Procedures Team. (from left to right: Emily Hunt, Meghna Dasgupta, Manushi Shah, Matthew Heroldt, Mihir Patel, Rushil Patel, and Hinal Patel)

Emily Hunt, Staff Writer

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For every year since Business Professionals of America has been a club at Hoffman Estates High School, individuals have placed at State competitions and have earned their chance to compete at the National level. The team’s continued success has been the result of focus and hard work.

“I wanted to be a greater part of their success after how hard I saw them work,” said new BPA Coach Kelly Pecka, who became the club’s head sponsor after accompanying the team at its 7th consecutive national team competition last year.

The impressive standard was raised even higher in 2017 when HEHS represented Illinois in four events, two of which placed top 5 in the Nation. The school’s students plan to make this year no exception. On March 1, the 40 HEHS students who advanced at the Regional competition will compete in this year’s State competition for an opportunity to uphold this pattern of success.

Dr. Kerri Largo, former head coach for four years and the Business Department Chair, believes the students’ accomplishments are not by accident.

“There is an expectation of dedication and commitment. Students who put in the time get out what they put in,” Largo said.

These kids aren’t only advancing in their events; they’re advancing their skills in life. “Competing in BPA gave me real employable skills,” said Mihir Patel, senior. “I’m a better speaker, I manage my time more efficiently, and I gained more confidence.”

“I used to shake before presenting. Now it’s just natural for me,” said Patel continued. Patel has participated in BPA for four years.

The club does not just appeal to those students who want to pursue a business career. “The club offered me a lot of cool opportunities, and I’ve made a lot of lasting friendships along the way,” said Manushi Shah, junior.

These ‘cool’ opportunities Shah describes include attending workshops, a chance to earn certifications, and listening to keynote speakers. The club is offered to all Hoffman students. It is designed to teach different essential skills in the workforce through a variety of competitive events such as Presentation Management, Accounting, and Microsoft Office.

The competitions include individual and team events. The amount of time required in preparation for success varies. For example, Hoffman’s Parliamentary Procedures Team (a recurring national team for the school since 2013) has to dedicate hours each week along. As the club continues to grow, so does its students. Hoffman hopes to make an appearance at BPA Nationals in Dallas this year and encourages people to join next year for a chance at competing in Anaheim,  California.

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Hoffman’s BPA sets sights on advancing in competition