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25 members of Huron’s BPA qualify for Nationals

%28Photo+caption%3A+51+qualifiers+from+Huron%E2%80%99s+Business+Professionals+%28BPA%29+club+posing+for+a+group+photo+in+the+annual+State+Leadership+Conference+in+Grand+Rapids%2C+Michigan%29.+Photo+courtesy+of+Jonathan+Cook.+
(Photo caption: 51 qualifiers from Huron’s Business Professionals (BPA) club posing for a group photo in the annual State Leadership Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan). Photo courtesy of Jonathan Cook.

On March 7–10, Huron’s Business Professionals of America (BPA) competed in the annual State Leadership Conference (SLC) at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and the Devos Convention Center, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 51 Huron students participated in the conference, and 25 qualified for the Nationals. 

 

Huron came home with 14 first place winners including junior Adit Vuppala, junior Aditya Muli, junior Alexander Svintsitski, senior Anirudh Venkat, senior Arav Bhojani, senior Bradley Spector, junior Julia Zhu, junior Lianne Liu, junior Manisha Datar, senior Melinda Mei, sophomore Reema Gameel, senior Rohan Panjabi, senior Vivek Tewari, and junior Yuanchen Zhao. Senior and Huron’s BPA President Venkat fondly shared about his 4th and last experience in the conference as a River Rat.

 

“Since it was my last SLC at Huron, I knew we needed to go out with a bang,” Venkat said. “I‘ve been doing BPA since 9th grade and have had experience winning at the national level before, so I understand what is expected of someone to win. Also, as a senior and president of the club, I wanted to continue to be a role-model for all the underclassmen participating in BPA. For me, I like to view this from the perspective of urgency rather than pressure — I was definitely pumped up and excited to compete.”

 

This year, Venkat concluded his 4th SLC as a first-placer of two events: Economic Research Individual and Financial Analyst Team. When asked about what pushed him to give his best, he shared a few tips coming from his years of experience in SLC: “keeping my mind flexible and free-flowing,” “connecting with my judges on a personal level” and giving your teammates complete trust and confidence. 

 

“There is a difference between being a charismatic presenter and being an emotional presenter,” Venkat said. “There is a questioning part at the end from judges to check how well you know the material you presented. During this portion, I try to keep my mind flexible. I try to think: ‘What answers can I give to the judges that not only make sense, but are also things they have never and will never hear from anyone else’.” 

 

Looking back on the recent conference, Venkat reflected on the performance of Huron’s BPA this year and how it’s different from the previous SLCs, also happily sharing that “Huron BPA doesn’t just follow the standard, we set the standard!”

 

“One of our own from Huron, Savitha Bandaranayake was our State President, and he, along with the rest of his executive council basically ran the entire conference, so there was definitely a more personal connection with the executive council that made the whole conference much more exciting,” Venkat said. “Finally, this SLC, we had more first-place finishes than any other SLC in recent memory!”

 

Aside from the experiences and achievements that the SLC had brought Venkat, another thing he loves about it is the community he found along the way – Huron’s BPA.

 

“BPA is not just a club, it’s a community, and this year, I felt that our group of students bonded extremely well together,” Venkat said. “We received the State award for Community Involvement this year as our chapter completed a service project to help aid food distribution to the hungry in the Ann Arbor area. Overall, this was a fantastic experience for me and I couldn’t have asked for a better last SLC.”

 

Ending with a message for the club, Venkat expressed his pride over Huron’s BPA, emphasizing that “this conference epitomized all of your hard work.”

 

“Never forget why we are the number 1 club at Huron and why we are the number 1 BPA chapter in the US,” Venkat said. “Whether you all placed in your events or not, the important thing is that you all put your best foot forward even if it meant doing something novel and feeling uncomfortable at times. [I am] extremely proud of all of you!”

 

The BPA National Leadership Conference is set to take place on May 10-14 this year in Chicago, Ill.

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Fayeza Muizz, Staff Writer
Fayeza is currently in 11th grade and this is her first year on The Emery’s staff. Fayeza is an exchange student from the Philippines under the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program, and in her free time, she likes to journal, read, spend time with her family, and watch series. Fayeza’s favorite series is Our Beloved Summer and her favorite place in the world is her home country—the Philippines. 
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