BPA students leave national conference with top awards

By Katelyn Needham/reporter

Former NW student and Business Professionals of America president Jonathon McNamee checked his brand new suit that he bought for the National Leadership Conference when his nose started to bleed just 30 minutes before he was due to take the stage for his competition in contemporary issues.

“It was an intense experience because I had to compete,” McNamee said. “I did not want to let the nosebleed get me down, so I cleaned it up.”

Even with the nosebleed, McNamee placed third in the category and first in presentation management. He was among four NW BPA students to place in the Washington, D.C., national conference in May.

“From this experience, I was able to see how successful people can be when they just become themselves and do not try to be someone else,” he said.

Griselda Gonzalez placed fifth in business law and ethics, Collin Curry placed fourth in managerial accounting and Victoria Devoll placed second in graphic design promotion. The financial analyst team made up of Devoll and Curry placed first.

Of the nine years BPA has been at NW, this was the most successful, advisor Jaye Simpson said. She hopes the team’s success will bring in more students for years to come.

BPA competes in national competitions every year and spends October to May preparing for them. The students meet with Simpson and other advisors weekly to perfect their entries and speeches for the competitions. The time commitment and the need for open availability is the hardest part for some students, Simpson said.

“I understand financial data well, but I am not as good at presenting and simplifying it for people who aren’t in the field,” Curry said. “The constant presentation practice enormously improved my presentation skills, so for me all the time invested was worth it.”

Students can join in the fall and must plan on being at TCC in the spring as well. Students do not have to be business majors or taking business classes to join.

“Be willing to work and communicate,” McNamee said. “BPA is full of advisors and people who are willing to help you. It has something for everyone in the business field. So for anyone who wants to actually utilize business application, BPA is the first place to go.”

For more information on how to join BPA, email Simpson at jaye.simpson@tccd.edu.