Every year, over 50 Coppell High School students participate in the annual Business Professionals of America regional competition. Coached and guided by Graphic Design and Animation teacher Cindy Wolfe and Computer Science teacher Jan McClintock, a handful of Coppell students made the state competition.
Coppell entered 38 individual events and eight team events, with 10 teams and two alternates from both chapters proceeding to the state level. Coppell also had the first three places in four open events. The state qualifiers are currently preparing for their upcoming competition from March 5th-8th in Houston, TX.
Sophomore Aditi Mukund, who participated in the Presentation Management individual and Network Design group events is going to state for her group event along with sophomores Veena Suthendran, Meghana Vanika and Pranathi Chitta.
However, going to state does not come without hard work, as these students have realized.
BPA gives students stricter guidelines than most classroom environments, as they are no longer allowed to morph group dynamics, according to Wolfe.
“[It’s] just the whole process of learning to work under restrictions, because BPA says ‘this is how you do it’ and if you don’t do it that way you get disqualified,” Wolfe said.
BPA students agree with the strenuous guidelines of the events, students often struggle to excel in their event, while making sure to remain within their boundaries.
Junior Anvita Devineni, who will also be going to state for her group event, said the process does not come without obstacles.
“We have faced many challenges,” Devineni said. “Last year, my partner and I both lost our voices the day before we had to give a 10 minute speech. This year, there was a mistake in announcing the state qualifiers, so that put us on edge for a few days before it was sorted out and we found out we were awarded first place.”
Regardless of the problems some students face while working towards a state qualifier, most agree that the hard work always pays off.
Devineni claimed her favorite aspect of BPA is presenting in front of judges.
“Those are the moments where you can see where your hard work has paid off,” Devineni said. “It’s hard to pinpoint one specific thing about BPA because the experience as a whole is fulfilling.”
Mukund agrees with the rewards of hard work finally paying off.
“It’s rewarding to win after all the hard work that is put into it,” Mukund said.
Senior Sneha Jain agrees too, joking that “winning” is her favorite part of being in BPA. Jain has been a part of BPA for all four years of high school and has won three state qualifications, five state alternates, 20 Merit awards at the regional level and three Merit awards at the state level.
“I enjoy working with others in the presentation events I have done: Small Business Management and Presentation Management,” Jain said. “It is a great experience when everyone contributes to the ideas which make the presentation successful. Additionally, I got to know the members of my team better through the process of researching, outlining, scripting, practicing, presenting and winning.”
Members in BPA also receive the benefits of actively participating in a career-oriented club.
Mukund, who has been in BPA for the past two years, is interested in business, and thinks the club prepares her on how to speak confidently, work efficiently and co-exist with different kinds of people.
“It also prepares me to complete a presentation by a deadline and publicly speaking,” Mukund said.
Devineni, too, agrees, and said apart from the obvious business aspects, BPA is also about responsibility and carrying yourself professionally.
“The work ethic that you put into it is reflected in how far you go in the competition, but being able to spontaneously solve challenges is crucial to success,” Devineni said. “That is a mirror to working in the real world.”
Jain thinks that BPA has helped her tremendously in terms of presentation skills.
“[It] has forced me to think outside of the box to stand out from other competitors…and [learn] a lot about the content itself,” Jain said. “BPA has given me the opportunity to find where I shine.”
Of the two alternates selected for state, one team has been moved up to the State level, leaving the CHS BPA chapters with 11 state qualifying teams and 25 qualifying students for individual events, along with 11 individual state alternates.
“We had Sneha Jain, who was our ‘super BPA student’,” Wolfe said. “She got first in her individual event, she was first in her team event, and she had three open event firsts, one second and two thirds. Jain’s achievements are a record for BPA in the past few years, as well as a personal record for herself.”