Student-Run Since '51

BPA prepares for National Leadership Conference

Tarsa Weikert, Staff Writer

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MCC Business Professionals of America (BPA) students who placed between 1st and 5th at the February 22-23 BPA State Leadership Conference in Des Moines won the opportunity to go to Anaheim, Calif., to participate in the BPA National Leadership Conference.
According to BPA adviser Angela Henning, “The state conference is an opportunity for business organizations across the state of Iowa to come together to practice leadership skills, to compete in events of topics that they have been studying.”
Attending these events was not mandatory, but gave students a chance to win awards, plaques, medallions, scholarships and industry certifications. In the past job opportunities have become available for other students who have won events at these conferences.
Students are able to put awards and participation in the conference on resumes and local employers know about BPA. “Connections are made where students are either getting recruited for jobs or they’re getting recruited for other educational opportunities. At the national level there are scholarships awards,” Henning said. “Just to get an award is a huge deal for a couple of reasons; one for the students themselves it is a motivator. It makes the students feel like they really can do what they came to the college to learn about and they’re really grasping it.”
Henning said, “To think that one of our MCC students is up on that stage winning a prize. It feels good. It’s wonderful I know to the instructors; it’s that vote of confidence that you’re doing something right.”
According to Henning, just attending these events and placing can give students a self confidence boost. Whether it’s 1st place or honorable mention, Henning described it as an “emotional booster.”
MCC sophomore Tsholofelo Mboweni is majoring in IT Networking. She attended the state conference and will be advancing to the National Leadership Conference. “I was really excited,” said Mboweni, “I still am. It’s such a great feeling knowing that you’ve been working towards achieving something and you finally do it. The event we placed 1st in was actually a Network Design team event. Deasy, Kathleen, Dustin and I worked really hard to put together a proposal and it turned out really well. It was such an amazing feeling for my name to be called.”
Mboweni placed 1st in one event, 2nd in two events and got honorable mention in three events. “It meant a lot. It made me feel that I’ve really been working hard to achieve more in my academics and I have something to show for it. I wouldn’t have done all this without the help from my instructors, one of them being Mrs. Angela Henning. She has taught me a lot and helped me grow in the IT field since I got to MCC,” Mboweni said.
MCC sophomore Venesa Ramos, majoring in Administrative Office Support attended the state conference and had doubts that she would place.
She also suffered a run of bad luck. Two of her group members did not show up due to personal circumstances. Ramos, enrolled in three events, had to forfeit the Administrative Office Support team event right away. She spent her time immediately looking through the names of students that could possibly replace her lost teammates, but due to scheduling conflicts with the other students’ events she was unable to find someone to join her team.
Not only was Ramos short two team members, but the bus that was supposed to take her to her second event, Fundamental Desktop Publishing, never arrived. Ramos waited for an hour and twenty minutes before a teacher came and took her to the building where she was supposed to take the test. When Ramos arrived at the building she had found out that she was too late to take the test and went on to her third event, Keyboard Production, which was in the same building.
Ramos said, “I knew that if there was three mistakes you wouldn’t qualify. I knew right away I wasn’t going to make it.”
After she had finished the testing she went up and talked to the proctor about possibly being able to make up the test she had missed. Because the building was closing she was unable to take it there but the proctor made a phone call and Ramos was able to take the Fundamental Desktop Publishing test back at her hotel.
“I went to the hotel, she set it up for me and I took it. I wasn’t 100 percent sure of how I did. I had myself set up for not being able to make it,” Ramos said.
The next day judges were calling out the events for the people who had placed and were advancing to the National Leadership Conference. Ramos was accepting awards in the name of people that could not be present. While in line waiting to accept someone else’s award a judge called her name.
“I heard my name getting called. I was so excited and happy, ” Ramos said.
Ramos was so unsure of how she did she just assumed that she only received an honorable mention and did not place. Her stroke of bad luck had her doubting herself. When Ramos found out that she had actually placed she said, “I was speechless. I had to look down the line to make sure I was the only one in the MCC group. I sat down and I almost started crying. I was really really excited and happy.”
“I received my plaque and I literally stared at it for awhile cause I was so shocked,” Ramos said.
“We want our community members to know that these students are doing good things,” Henning said, “not just BPA students. We have so many students on campus involved in a variety of things that are doing really good things so the awards are always good. We don’t just do it for the awards though it’s a huge huge learning opportunity. I couldn’t be more proud.”
“Winning this award has made me feel more confident about myself,” said Ramos, “and I was able to meet new people and get to know the people in my group better.”

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Student-Run Since '51
BPA prepares for National Leadership Conference