BPA Goes Virtual


Business Professionals of America

The official logo for Business Professionals of America

I joined the Business Professionals of America (BPA) club junior year. I joined because I thought it would look good on my resume, but I was not really looking forward to the actual club. I did not know a single thing about the club, so I was confused when I realized we did not meet like traditional clubs. Instead, it was more individual and you were allowed to choose at least three events you were interested in to compete. I chose an accounting test, small business advisory, and the entrepreneurship competition.

The first event I had to complete was the submission of a business plan for the entrepreneur competition. I did not realize how much work that would require. Thankfully, Mr. John Sabol, the adviser, was able to help me with some questions on formatting and requirements. I found that submitting was actually the most difficult part. It took me about an hour to submit my business plan because the website was quite complicated.

So while BPA moved online it is still one of my favorite clubs, but I do miss going to a community college and competing with the rest of the club”

— Nate Charles

Next, was the competition day in which all the BPA students in our region went to a community college dressed in business attire to compete. This was a very enjoyable and challenging experience for me. I do not particularly like to dress up so I was nervous; however, the competition had a great atmosphere of students practicing for their events and having fun with their friends. Each student had a personalized schedule for their events and a break for lunch. After my events, I had lunch and explored the building with some friends. When it was time, the students stepped on the bus. “Usually after the bus leaves I stay at the community college and I sit there grading until 6 pm,” Sabol said.

This year though BPA has gone online, all the events had to be adapted along with a new submission system. On a regional level, it took the hard work of a fellow adviser at a different school, so we could have BPA online. “Another adviser from another school has taken on a lot of the responsibilities and is kind of running our region… so she has taken on a lot of extra work,” Sabol said.

The new system had many students confused on how to properly upload files. While also confusing people on where to find their events and correct formatting for their submissions. “I have never used this system. For example, last night was the cut-off for the videos so students were emailing me pretty late in the evening to get their videos in,” Sabol said.

I missed the in-person event where the whole club packs on the school bus as we go to spend our day competing. I found this year it was hard to remember due dates because they were shifting around. In contrast to last year this year everything needed to be submitted which was difficult to keep track of. Because some events previously were held exclusively while in person,I felt I had more work to do this year. “It has been pretty busy, a different kind of busy because usually it’s this one event day that everyone is preparing for…but now I have [the weekend] to judge the events I was assigned,” Sabol said.

So while BPA moved online it is still one of my favorite clubs, but I do miss going to a community college and competing with the rest of the club.