If your chapter has NLC qualifiers who will not be attending the national conference, please click here to complete the NLC non-attendance form. Secondary chapters must register all their NLC qualifiers by Tuesdasy, March 19 at 11:59 PM. NLC qualifiers who are not registered by this date will forfeit their spot to compete at the NLC.
Tips on Saving Money for SLC and NLC
by Nolan Greisinger, Vice-President of Leadership Development
The long nights of staying up preparing, to the awards session, it all seems to pay off once we are at the next conference. Sometimes the cost of these conferences can add up quickly. But when it comes to each one you don’t want to miss out on the lasting knowledge and memories gained when attending States and Nationals. Here are some ways on making sure to get there, without the financial stress that may come along with it.
The first step is to make sure you know the price of the conference. From there you can start budgeting to make sure you’re in attendance. There are many ways to save money, whether that be you saying not going out with friends, or putting a little away at a time, both are easy ways to save.
There are many ways to make money for the BPA State Leadership Conference or National Leadership Conference. One option is to fundraise with your chapter. There are different ways that one might go about doing so. First look at what fundraisers you could do, and then next think about the best location for set. One of the top locations is to set one up at your local school. Your local school is a haven for things like this. It allows for a safe environment to raise money and awareness for your cause. It is always smart to reach out further though as well. Often times, if you reach out to local business, they are willing to sponsor your event or cause. Look locally before extending your research further. It is important to put that money away right after you receive it.
A very important aspect to making sure that you have the funds necessary to allow you to attend conferences is budgeting. One tip that heavily involves budgeting is to save throughout the year. The best strategy is to make this a line item in your monthly budget; saving just a bit throughout the year. This way you already have the cash in hand to pay for everything without taking from your actual checking account. Another aspect to budgeting and saving money for this type of thing is to plan and to register early. This goes hand and hand with saving throughout the year. Allowing for you to seek out the time in advance and set up a plan for saving from there. For example, if you have 6 weeks to save up for a $300 conference, you would budget $50 per week to meet that goal. Now that would not account for the spending money while in attendance. But with the early planning, putting a bit of spending money away will not be a hard step!
When sitting in the long seminars, or spending time getting work done, one could imagine they would build up an appetite. When traveling somewhere new it is always important to try something you have not done before. Make sure to find a good new place to indulge yourself with a delicious meal. One tip to this is to not overdo the eating out. Set a budget of how much you will eat out and stick to it. Find a grocery store and buy healthy snacks at a cheaper price. If offered, you can bring things to make sandwiches and buy other small snack stuff. This will prevent hunger and it makes two of the three meals in a day very cheap. It is far less expensive than eating each meal at a restaurant.
Always know where your money is going. If you lose track of where each dime is going, it can be hard to keep in line with your budget. Sometimes it is best that you keep a small notebook or tab on what you are spending money on. This allows you to check back on exactly what you bought. Even though it is always nice to save, you are there to experience as much as you can so do not feel bad for treating yourself every now and again.
As we continue to grow older, we will be visiting more places for more conferences. These conventions can be expensive, but with simple planning you can minimize a majority of the expenses. By doing so this can lighten the financial damage that can take a toll, and make for an overall more enjoyable experience. Those in BPA have spent countless hours of their time to make the SLC and NLC the best that they truly can be, and we cannot wait to see you guys there!
Opportunities Available for You
by Noah Cox, Executive Vice-President
Ever wanted to learn more about business? Have you ever felt like you want to do more BPA activities but they don’t work with your schedule? The 2018-2019 State Executive Council has been reaching out to many colleges and businesses throughout Michigan in order to help you get more business enrichment opportunities and further your passion for business. Visit our Opportunities page to learn more about various camps and internships. Continue to check this page as we will be adding more camps and internships as the year progresses! In addition, be sure to check out the booths many of these camps and internships will have as well at the 2019 Michigan BPA State Leadership Conference if you are in attendance.
Tips on Running a Local Chapter Meeting
by Apoorva Dayananda, State Secretary/Treasurer
We have all been stuck in meetings that seem to last forever, where the discussion has no clear path, or the goals of the meeting are not clear. However, meetings are essential for communicating important information. And when conducted right, meetings serve as a powerful tool in ensuring the success of your organization.
Before you can ensure a successful meeting, there are steps that need to be taken. First, review the goals that you want to accomplish during the meeting. Then, determine if the meeting is necessary. While this may seem backwards, in determining what you want to accomplish, you will then evaluate the information that you want to present in the meeting. Most people view meetings as inconveniences, so, when planning a meeting, ask yourself if there is a more efficient way to communicate the information. For example, if there are no handouts or reminders, then send out the information through an email. However, if there is a substantial amount of information, then a meeting would be most effective.
You should also write an agenda detailing the topics that will be discussed during the meeting. An agenda is used to summarize the meeting; it can range from a bulleted list of topics on a handout, to a quick message at the beginning of a meeting. The main purpose of an agenda is to state the purpose of why you are conducting the meeting. According to Adam Bryant, writer for the New York Times, “The agenda provides a compass for the conversation.” If a discussion is not relevant to the meeting, the agenda can be used to steer the meeting back on course. An agenda can also direct the attendees’ attention to the most important aspects of the meeting and keep them focused. For meetings used to discuss certain issues, it is more beneficial to send out the agenda in advance in order for the attendees to already have ideas prior to the meeting, which can also increase productivity.
In further preparation for the meeting, make sure you assign roles. While most chapters may already have a president, vice president, secretary, etc. some chapters do not. It is important to have someone to facilitate, someone to take notes, and someone to take the minutes. When everyone has a job, it helps ensure that the meeting is more focused.
When it comes to the actual meeting, start and end on time. It can be frustrating for the attendees that arrive on time to have to wait for the meeting to begin. Starting the meeting on time will establish an expectation of timeliness, which can encourage people to be prompt in arrival for future meetings. Along with starting a meeting on time, ending a meeting on time can promote the efficiency of discussion and help prevent it from getting off course. A way to help ensure that the meeting will end on time is by allotting a certain number of minutes to each task on the agenda; because of this, you can also ensure that you are accomplishing every task on the agenda.
Moreover, as a leader of a meeting, it is important to remember a few things. First, encourage discussion. Discussion is an important part of a meeting, and by allotting time towards it, you can still discuss while staying on schedule. While discussion is happening, it is up to you to make sure things stay on course. Second, at the end of the meeting, summarize the main points. While there may be a lot of discussion at your meeting, summarizing helps members leave the meeting with the information that you hoped to convey. Finally, never forget to host a question and answer session. This session is especially important for local meetings to ensure that no member leaves the meeting confused.
After the meeting is over, always make sure to follow up. Send out meeting notes highlighting the main points of the meeting and detailing the important information, assigned tasks, and deadlines, on the same day as the meeting. By sending out an email, members will have a source to look back upon instead of solely relying upon their memory. Additionally, if there are tasks assigned to people at the meeting, always make sure to check up on their progress until they are completed with the task. The key to any successful meeting is in communication and preparation.
By Niral Patel, State Parliamentarian
Browse around on the Michigan BPA webpage, and you may find yourself sifting through tabs about parts of our organization that you didn't even know existed. One community of BPA that you may not fully understand is our Alumni Association. Business Professionals of America is a widespread organization that tries to be as inclusive as possible with all members, including those who have graduated high school or college and can no longer compete in events. As a result of this, there is an established community of alumni who still continue to contribute to the organization.
BPA Alumni spend their time assisting members and advisors at each of the available conferences. You may run across a few at your regional conference, and, if not, will for sure encounter several at the State Leadership Conference. There are a range of activities that alumni are involved in at these conferences, including:
● Coordinating the activities of the local chapter
● Assisting with committees
● Forming a Business Professionals of America advisory committee
● Sponsoring or chaperoning a field trip or conference trip
● Serving as judges in local competitive events
● Helping students prepare for competitive events
● Participating in the student Special Olympics project.
● Serve as a guest speakers at regular meetings, banquets, and regional meetings.
● Present talks and workshops on career development and related topics. These topics may include committee effectiveness, officer leadership training, and sessions on how to apply for a job, how to prepare for the interview, what students should know about the business world as they graduate, and preparation for competitive events.
Their primary purpose is solely to ensure that the BPA experience is the best for you and every other member. They want to give back to the organization that provided so much for them (and, hopefully, you as well).
If you have been enjoying your experience as a member of BPA, be sure to thank the alumni for their help. They are taking time out of their busy lives to help you build your future. If you find yourself loving this organization as much as they do, you should definitely consider becoming a part of the Alumni Network, so you yourself can give back to the organization that has done so much for you.
If you want to learn more about our alumni association, you can check it out at http://www.bpa.org/membership/alumni.
BPA Spotlight: Nolan Greisinger
By Nolan Greisinger, Vice-President of Leadership Development
Four years ago, I walked out of a room not knowing it would change my life forever. I ambled into my first ever Business Professionals of America meeting at DeWitt High School. I sat there entirely confused, as I listened to people talk upon an organization that gave them so much knowledge, hope and wisdom. I now sit here today serving as the Vice-President of Leadership Development as a freshman in college.
Goals. A word that is defined as “the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result” (dictonary.com). Growing up there was many things that my mom instilled in me, from the time I could talk to now; she expects the very best from me. One of the most important life lessons I learned from her was to set goals. By setting clear concise goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of your work. You will see the forward progress in which might have seemed like a long process before. I have centered my entire BPA career around the ideals set forth, and the principle of setting goals. As a sophomore my one goal was to advance on to the State Leadership Conference, that year I competed in the Graphic Design Promotion competitive event. The objective was to create a flyer, and logo that would encompass the National Leadership Conference for the year ahead. I stayed after school for two weeks preparing my event in hopes it would be enough for me to advance onto the State Leadership Conference. As time came close to the Regional Leadership Conference, I practiced my presentation, time and time again. I woke up prepared and ready to depart. As my event drew near, my nerves kicked in. I sat outside the presentation room, but I remembered the goal I had set for myself. I remembered the ambition that I had going forward, the drive I had to succeed, and the practice; I was ready. I walked into the room with full confidence, I ended up placing 5th, and it was good enough for me to advance on to states. I learned that you do not always have to be the best, but when you work hard your goals will fall into place. I have now competed at three state leadership conferences, and attended Dallas, Texas for the National Leadership Conference.
Growing up in DeWitt, I always felt the need to compete, I felt the need to strive for the best. I loved the community that was centered around the town, it made for a great place to grow up in. I started my soccer career at the young age of five, not knowing the impact the sport would have on my life. It brought me some of the best times, as well as some of the best friends too. It taught me discipline, teamwork and leadership. I have been the caption of my high school team, along with being the caption for my premier league soccer team. The lessons that I have learned from soccer has helped me with other aspects of my life. It has helped with BPA in regard to the discipline. During soccer season I would have to train my body, so that I could be in shape. Here I must have the discipline to train my mind. I must study my material, set times and be prepared to meet deadlines. For that I am thankful for the DeWitt community for supporting me on and off the field. If it was not for this town, I would not be where I am at today.
My proudest BPA accomplishment yet has been to serve the Michigan Association as the Vice-President of Leadership Development. I decided last minute that I wanted to run, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Running for office was stressful in and of itself. I had to do things I had no prior experience with before. That has helped me to grow up and be able to stand where I am today. I ran an entire campaign, read a speech in front of thousands of people, and dove deeper into an organization. By being in this position it has afforded me the opportunity to express my skillsets and share my passions and goals with the State of Michigan. I have met eight other people with an amazing drive, work ethic, and passion for helping. Together we have accomplished so much, and we are doing work that we can be proud of.
I will never regret the decision I made to walk into that meeting, just a few short years ago. Business Professionals of America has opened doors for me, brought me out of my shell, and allowed me to prove to myself that I can accomplish so much. I walked into that room sophomore year optimistic, but I will leave BPA with confidence, ready to start the next journey in my life.
Start-up Enterprise Team Event
By Nathan Lee, State President
Have you ever wanted to start a bakery? Ever wanted to revolutionize the tech industry with your brilliant idea? Ever wanted to be an entrepreneur? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you might want to consider participating in Start-up Enterprise Team, arguably one of the most business oriented events offered in BPA.
Start-up Enterprise Team is a virtual event designed for students to explore various aspects of business planning. Virtual event is a non-conference event that students can submit a project online to qualify for the National Leadership Conference by getting top ten placement. Out of eight virtual events, Startup Enterprise Team is one of the most popular. Students in a group of two to four work together to come up with a business idea and draft a business plan for it. After completion, the drafts should be formatted in an appropriate way as stated in the event guidelines and be turned in. The business plans then go through the selection process and the judges pick outstanding teams for video interviews. During this interview, your team will have to give a short presentation summarizing the business plan. The judge will then ask questions, which can be practically anything, from the source of data used for financial analysis to logistical issues such as the location of raw material imports and the reason behind choosing the location. The business plan and the interview will be taken into account for the Nationals team placement.
The business plan must include the following sections: executive summary, description of proposed business, objective of business, proposed business strategies, products and services provided, management and ownership, marketing analysis, and financial analysis. There may be additional sections depending on the type of business, but the core sections stated above should still be strong and consistent. As the judges grade the business plan and the interview, they look for logical and coherent statements that resonate consistently throughout the entire business plan and sufficient reasoning behind the decision made. Even if the reasoning is not based off of statistics, something as simple as the headquarter of the company being close to a manufacturing plant may be a solid reason to why a facility is located at a place.
The event should be turned in by mid-February, and there is a $20 fee to enter. With a 15 page limit, the business plan should be concise, engaging, and well-written with few or no grammatical or spelling errors. Below are the specific competencies the judges look for.
· Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurship
· Communicate research in a clear and concise manner both orally and in writing
· Demonstrate effective persuasive and informative communication and presentation skills
· Identify and utilize internal and external resources
· Develop a written business plan for a start-up business
· Identify customer base including consumer and organizational markets and demographics
· Identify customer relations or markets
· Demonstrate successful price selection including the reasoning and methods used in determining the price
· In addition, an analysis of the necessary financial data required to establish their business
As a veteran of Start-up Enterprise Team who went to the National Leadership Conference for it, I highly recommend that you give it a shot. There is a lot to learn from planning and drafting an entire business plan. In addition, the event prepares you in multiple areas of business such as marketing, operations, finance, and management. With all these reasons, why wait to be an entrepreneur?
An Alumni Spotlight: Lillia Sheline
By Randall Madison, State Historian
This is Lillia Sheline, a graduate of Berrien Springs High School, currently attending Eastern Michigan University with a major in Special Education Teaching, a concentration in secondary Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a minor in English Language, Literature, and Writing. Lillia is 20 years old. In Michigan BPA she served as the 2015-2016 State Secretary-Treasurer on the SEC and ran on the motto “Don’t bark up the wrong tree, vote Lilly”. She is now serving as the State Office Administrative Assistant, she handles phone calls, payments, registrations, etc. Lillia is very important to our officer team because her team was the first team all of us state officers strove to be in our first year in BPA. I asked Lillia some questions about herself so the state officers could get to know her as well as the Michigan Organization.
Favorite Movie: Bohemian Rhapsody
Hobbies: I love to read, watch movies, spend time with friends, and I’m always up for a spontaneous adventure!
Passions: working with people with special needs. I spend my summers working at a camp for people with disabilities and I hope to one day teach in a special needs classroom.
Favorite Song: Michigan by The Milk Carton Kids
How many years have you been involved in BPA and what first got you interested?
I have been involved in BPA for seven years. I was always looking for something new to try and BPA was such a foreign concept to me. I was the only freshman in my high school chapter and then the only sophomore the next year.
Since you were on the State Executive Council, what made you decide to run for SEC?
I remember seeing all the state council elects giving their speeches during the opening ceremonies and it always filled me with so much curiosity. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I knew that if I could do it, it would be one of my greatest adventures.
What makes BPA important to you?
BPA has brought me some of the greatest relationships of my life. I made lifelong friends while serving on the State Executive Council and I've even found friends in the State Office staff and alumni division.
What led you to work for the state office now?
I found a mentor in Mr. Henderson while I was serving as the State Executive Secretary/Treasurer. When Mr. Henderson found out that I was going to be on campus with him and offered me a job, I couldn't say no; it was too good of an opportunity to learn from him.
What is your favorite BPA memory?
During the dinner session of my SEC year, two of my fellow officers surprised the rest of the council with a song that they had prepared. It was the most powerful moment because we had grown to become a family that year, so such a kind and thoughtful gesture made so publicly brought each of us to tears, including me. It was so powerful!
Lastly, what do you think is important for future business professional to know?
Well, for one, social media is very important. KEEP IT CLEAN! Employers look at the things that you post, and your feed can determine whether you get a job or not. Another thing would be to keep taking risks. Risks, although scary, can be so beneficial. You're not going to get anywhere by sitting on your couch; make a move, take the steps, and try EVERYTHING. You never know where your life might take you.
Transitioning from High School to College
By Ashley Speck, Vice President of Chapter Activities
Packing your bags and leaving for college may seem surreal. I started collecting items for my perfect dorm room almost a year before I moved in. College was knocking on my door step in August. I wasn’t scared or concerned at first. I didn’t realize how on my own I was until I got sick for the first time. College is different there’s no passing period, and no one cares if you’re tardy to class. You start calling your teachers professors, and your assignments only start coming in heavy when every other class gets hard as well. You learn that you can function off of no sleep, and you can magically type a 14-page paper in a matter of hours. Transitioning to college is not easy for everyone. Here are a few tips I think could help you!
1. Don’t be scared to ask your RA questions. S/he can be your resource!
2. Everyone is in the same boat you are. Reach out and make friends.
3. Don’t fall behind. Create a planner or a schedule and stick to it.
4. Stay involved. Join a club or go to sporting events.
5. Remember you are making memories and getting an education.
Thinking of these simple tips will help make the transition easier. Go out to all those Welcome Week events. Students that are in your shoes will be there as well.
6. Call home. Don’t forget, your parents are transitioning in their own way too.
7. Your roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend.
8. Most colleges have free resources, use them.
9. Meal plans are nice but have some food in your room for those late night craves.
10. It is okay to have an undecided major walking into college.
Not everyone is just like you, there will be different opinions. People are going to come from potentially across the world to your school. I never knew that my best friends would be from Brazil and Italy. I reached out and made friends. Those late-night laughs that seem so pointless in the moment are creating those “remember when” stories. Try new things. From food to activities there is so much to explore that you may have never had before. New experiences will only make you a better person.
11. Don’t forget about your hometown friends. Call or text them occasionally, they probably miss you too.
12. No matter how many tips one could give you, this is your experience; make the most out of it.
Live your life to the fullest and get that education you have always dreamed of. Stay positive and stay strong and you will accomplish your dreams.
How to Make the Most Out of SLC
by Appoorva Dayananda, State Secretary/Treasurer
For qualifying members, the Michigan BPA State Leadership Conference is the next step on their pathway to becoming national winners, and we, the 2018-2019 Michigan State Executive Council, would like to welcome you to a world of possibilities during the 2019 State Leadership Conference. With the various events hosted throughout the conference, BPA members will have the incredible opportunity to develop their business skills while networking with a multitude of students from all across Michigan.
At the state leadership conference, you will find various activities designed to develop your business and leadership skills while interacting with other members, starting with the Thursday Night Activity. On the first day of the conference, you may feel nervous about your upcoming presentation or competition. Therefore, the state executive council has coordinated a night where you can be relieved of the stress and have a great time. This year, the 2019 SLC Thursday Night Activity will be Glow in the Dark Karaoke, where you and your friends can sing your favorite songs or just have fun listening to others.
Throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, Legacy Launchers will be available for members to attend. Legacy Launchers are presentations designed to increase your understanding of various business world aspects. With highly qualified speakers, you can learn about first hand experiences in the business world, business etiquette, social media, and several other business topics. There will be numerous Legacy Launchers available, so if one may conflict with your competition time, there will be plenty more to attend.
Moreover, if you are thinking about furthering your education, representatives from various colleges will be present, providing information about their college or universities. Some of the colleges you can obtain information from include Northwood University, Walsh College, Davenport University, and a variety of others. In addition to the college fair, new this year will be an opportunities fair, specializing in giving passionate BPA members a way to gain first hand experience into the business world through internships, camps, and more.
In addition to your competitive event, open events provide a way for members to make qualify to attend the BPA National Leadership Conference. Open events are an unregistered event where you can take different tests at the state leadership conference. These tests span a wide variety of topics, including Financial Math and Analysis Concepts, Parliamentary Procedure Concepts, and many more. To see the full set of open events available, please view the Workplace Skills Assessment Program (WSAP). To take these tests, all that you need is a pencil and your member identification number.
In addition to the competitions that members will be participating in, there will also be an election for the next year’s Michigan BPA State Executive Council. At the state conference, predetermined candidates will have the opportunity to campaign and make their platform. While some of these events may only be for the current state executive council and/or voting delegates, there are other events to give BPA members the opportunity to learn the goals and insight that the candidates can bring to the next year state officer team. These events include the speeches given out at the opening session as well as the campaign rally, hosted on Saturday afternoon. While the first part of the campaign rally is only for voting delegates, the second part is open to the rest of the BPA membership.
On Saturday night, Michigan BPA will be hosting a dinner session, which includes the dinner and the announcement of the next year’s state officers. Following the dinner session is the BPA Dollar Dance. At this dance, we ask the members to donate one dollar to enter the dance, contributing to our state service project. The dance provides another way for you to have fun with your chapter and other members that you may have met throughout the conference.
We, the 2018-2019 State Executive Council, hope to make the 2019 State Leadership Conference an amazing experience for you. In order to gain all that you can from this conference, we ask you to take a step a little bit out of your comfort zone. Attend as many Legacy Launchers and events as you can. Take as many open events as you can. Talk to a new person every day. Do something that you may have never done. Learn something you never knew. And most importantly, have fun.
Internships: A Glimpse of Your Future
By Sunjuna Chalasani, Vice-President of Membership
Confused. Lost. Frustrated. Feelings shared by high schoolers around the country. It is easy to get overwhelmed thinking about the future. There’s this expectation that high schoolers need to know what they want to study and do before they graduate, yet for many, this isn’t the case.
Internships allow you to experience different fields and careers without the weight of an actual job. They can narrow down your interests by helping you see if a certain path for you is fulfilling, or a mistake you would dread. They allow high school students to gain an increased understanding of the expectations in a professional workplace. Previous real-world job experiences can also provide a competitive edge when it comes to applying for college or jobs. Through high school internships, students gain experience, make lasting professional connections, and even learn about themselves along the way.
The hardest part of an internship is getting your foot in the door. Most companies are open to the idea of hiring and paying high schoolers to do real work. Many also have policies preventing them from hiring people under the age of 18. Here are some tips to help:
1. Be proactive
It is up to YOU to go look for opportunities. Businesses aren’t lining up to hire kids that are still in, or newly out of high school. You have to go out and contact places you are interested in learning about. Many times, you are applying or looking for positions that don’t yet exist. It is YOUR responsibility to create them.
This can be as simple as sending an email. The spring of my junior year, I reached out to as many local start-ups around me as I could, simply stating that I was a high schooler interested in learning more about the workplace in a business setting and would be willing to work as an unpaid intern. Luckily, I happen in live very close to two major hubs in Michigan for start-ups: Ann Arbor and Detroit. Even then, most places never contacted me back. The start-up I ended up working for typically only hired college students and had never had a high school intern. I was later told that I was the only high schooler they had ever had reach out to them, which allowed me to stand out amongst the piles of applicants. Take advantage this!!!
2. Leverage your connections
Use every resource available. This includes the personal and professional connections you’ve already established. Personal connections are a great source for internship opportunities, and chances are you have a wider network than you realize.
Be open about your search for an internship in certain fields and reach out to people who might be able to help. This includes mentors, coaches, parents, friends, and more. You never know when someone will reveal that their uncle’s second cousin is married to someone who currently needs a personal assistant in his or her law office. Reach out to anyone you already know that is working in a field related to your interests. Start asking several months before you hope to start, since it will take some time to do research, follow leads, and arrange interviews. Several of my friends were able to intern at the Ford Motor Company this past summer alongside actually engineers. By reaching out to family and friends, they created real-life opportunities and positions for themselves that didn’t yet exist.
3. Specify what you’re looking for
Know what you want to get out of the experience. Be upfront about this so you get the most out of your time at your internship. This also eases the process of searching. Is there a certain environment you are looking for? A corporate environment is going to range heavily from one of a start-up or local business. Are there certain hours you are willing to work or are best for you? Consider all of these options before starting the process.
4. Be professional and prepared
Make a resume. Created a LinkedIn. Show up to your interview in business formal, regardless of the attire of the workplace. Research the business and craft insightful questions to demonstrate interest.
Best of luck my friends.
Have a secret talent of singing? Want to Snapchat your friends singing on-stage? Wait no more—the Thursday night activity for this year, “Glow-in-the-Dark Karaoke,” invites every one of you to have a phenomenal kick-start of the array of excitements to come at the 2019 state leadership conference. Taking place from 8:00 to 9:30 PM on March 14, 2019, Glow-in-the-Dark Karaoke is a singing contest that involves a dark room, a sea of neon colors, and musical talents never to be seen in a parliamentary procedure testing room. To sign up to sing alone or with a friend, visit bit.ly/BPAglow. For more information, read the Glow-in-the-Dark Karaoke Rules and Guidelines or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expand Your Leadership: Become a State Officer
By Noah Cox, Executive Vice-President
We have reached a point where everyone has selected their BPA event and are most likely preparing for your local RLC (Regional Leadership Conference). However, some of you may be considering running for the state executive council next March as well. While serving on a state officer team can be an amazing experience, it’s important you understand the following commitments before you make the decision to run.
The work you do as a state officer is broken down into a few categories: General work (things all members of the state executive council complete), committee work (work assigned to you based on the committees you’re assigned), and role responsibilities (work you’d do that is specific to the role you have on the state executive council).
The largest component you’d probably have is your general workload. With this, this includes monthly reports where you journal what you have done in BPA over the past month (these are always due on the 1st of the month NO LATER!). You will attend quarterly state officer meetings (these are trips you make once a season to Lansing where you spend the weekend working on your SEC commitments). In addition, you will complete two chapter visits throughout your term where you visit chapters and give presentations related to BPA and you will attend two regional leadership conferences where you help judge events, pass out awards and do general volunteering. Of course, one of the major responsibilities of being a state officer includes planning the state leadership conference. This may seem like a lot, but trust me it’s not that bad. These are spread out throughout the year and make the workload each week very manageable.
Additionally, you’ll have commitments related to the committees you been placed on throughout the year. For myself I’m on the opportunities and service committees. On the service committee we work on planning the state service project which this year included calling partner companies like Wreaths Across America and setting up care package supply drop off locations at the regional leadership conferences. Additionally, I’m on the opportunities committee which focuses on providing business enrichment opportunities and financial aid to our BPA members at the state conference. This committee’s work has included calling companies to look for sponsorships for Michigan BPA and calling universities and companies to provide internship and business camp opportunities to the Michigan BPA members.
Finally, the last major responsibility related to serving on the team is the responsibilities you’ll have related to serving your role. Each role has its own unique responsibilities and since you can’t pick a specific position when you run, you have to consider all role related responsibilities. First off there’s the president. He/she is responsible for helping to oversee committee work, running the official business meetings and assign jobs related to the SEC. The secretary/treasurer is responsible for taking the minutes of the meetings, providing an updated treasurer’s report and the membership report at the annual business meeting at the state leadership conference. The historian is responsible for monitoring media related work for the Michigan BPA. Basically, this means that they work on the annual yearbook, assign articles, provide the historian’s report at the quarterly business meetings, and coordinate social media posts. Finally, there’s the parliamentarian. While they don’t have any formal documents they need to prepare, they are responsible for advising the president on any parliamentary procedure questions. This means the person in this role should have a decent amount of knowledge of parliamentary procedure before becoming the parliamentarian.
This may sound like a lot, but I assure you it’s really not that bad. I put in about 4-6 hours a week usually for the work I do with the state executive council and some weeks it’s less. But most important of all you get an unbelievable experience meeting people you’d never get to see if you haven’t done this, forge long term friendships, and get experiences that set you up for success for the rest of your life. BPA’s tagline is “Today’s students. Tomorrow’s business professionals.” If you choose to run for the State Executive Council, I can guarantee you are on the right track to achieve that.
An Alumni Spotlight: Matt Leddy
By Randall Madison State Historian
Matt Leddy is a former graduate of Swan Valley High School and Eastern Michigan University. He is 23 years old and he works as a Dealer Services Analyst at Ford Credit in Nashville, TN.
He has been actively involved in BPA at all levels. Last year, he was the 2018 National BPA Emerging Professional of the Year. In Michigan BPA, he served as the 2012-2013 State Secretary-Treasurer and served as an Administrative Assistant for the State Office from 2013-2017. He is now serving as the Michigan BPA Torch Awards Coordinator. We asked Matt some questions about himself so everyone in Michigan BPA could get to know him.
Favorite Food: Chicken Wings
Hobbies: Traveling, watching football, reading
Biggest Fear: Heights
How many years have you been involved in BPA and what first got you interested?
I have been involved for BPA for eight years. I joined BPA because my older sister was in BPA and I saw how excited she was when she came back with awards from the SLC. I knew it could bring me great opportunities if I worked at it.
Since you were on the State Executive Council, what made you decide to run for SEC?
It had been a while since Swan Valley had a representative on the board and I thought I’d be a good fit. I wanted to do as much as I could in BPA and thought that running for the SEC would bring me the most out of the organization. Sure enough, it did.
What was it like starting a new BPA chapter at Eastern Michigan University?
It was a strenuous task but well worth it. There’s a lot of work that goes into starting a student organization. In our inaugural year we had 11 members and brought 10 to the NLC.
What led you to work for the state office now?
Mr. Henderson had offered me the job at the end of my SEC term knowing that I was going to EMU. It was a fun job working directly for my mentor. I truly believe I have seen every side of this organization as a student member, member of the SEC, and administrative assistant.
What has BPA taught you?
BPA has taught me to keep your door open to opportunities. When someone asks you to do something, you do it to the best of your ability.
What is your favorite BPA memory?
There’s so many to choose from. I really enjoy engaging with students presenting Legacy Launchers at the SLC. I’m most grateful for the emerging professional of the year award. I enjoyed my time in Chicago and Orlando as a HS student at the NLC, Anaheim as an employee, and Boston as a college student.
Lastly, what do you think is important for future business professional to know?
It’s important to understand that you might not see a reward in what you’re doing. Sometimes it takes time for results to flourish, but in the end, if you put in the hard work, the results will follow. My favorite quote to live by is: “Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it.”
by Nolan Greisinger, Vice-President of Leadership Development
As many teenagers make their transformation from high school to college, times can be scary. Students may feel a burst of confusion, and wonder where our adolescence went. When the time comes, students may look around their campus for comfort. That is where postsecondary chapters could come in and play a key role. It allows for those who participated in high school to still have the opportunity to participate and continue their skills at the college level.
Students that may not have competed at the high school level can still join at the postsecondary institutions. Starting something new allows for those to step out of their comfort zone while also expanding their resumes, skills and their network. By being involved in extracurricular activities in college such as BPA, it allows for you to gain real life experience, build connections and thrive. Having that work experience proves to the professional world that you have a strong work ethic, and can achieve just what they are looking for. Most importantly, it shows that as a full time student, you also have the capability to flourish in other things as well. Balancing an education while expanding your knowledge to further yourself shows the passion and drive that these young professionals have. It attributes to much more than one may think, it proves that you can achieve more than one task at a time, and that’s what people are looking for in today’s world.
Postsecondary Business Professionals of America is very similar to the BPA that high school students are used to. These business professionals still compete in many of the same events, travel to a state and even the national leadership conferences. A list of events that differ from the events students may be used to can be found at bpa.org. At this moment in time the Michigan Association has an exceptionally strong postsecondary division. With a total 10 chapters throughout the entire state, we have a strong presence at the national leadership conference each year. These 10 schools are, Alma College, Bay College/LSSU Regional Center Escanaba, Central Michigan University, Davenport University, Eastern Michigan University, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Mid-Michigan Community College, Montcalm Community College and Northwood University. These colleges and universities have become the future of Business Professionals of America. As the great lakes state we are proud to range from middle level, all the way up to the collegiate level. Each year it is our goal to increase membership; competing in college does just that. Building and expanding our organization to depths we never thought possible defines our mission statement. BPA is seeking to grow and with your own curiosity, it can.
Now, you may be curious as to how you can get involved in a postsecondary chapter. If your secondary school has a chapter already established the first step will be to get in touch with an advisor, and members that are actively involved already. You will then need to pay the preliminary membership dues in order to remain as a National BPA chapter. If you are curious about starting a new chapter, the first step will be to download the local chapter handbook, if you are a new chapter, fill out a new chapter application and review the new advisor training presentation in PDF format. If you have any questions or concerns you can reach out to the state director, or visit the Michigan or National BPA website under the “How To Start a New Chapter” section. We ensure that whether you are a current chapter, or starting a brand new one, BPA will be there to guide, support and help your students thrive in not only the business world, but in your own world. It will teach you the necessary skills to further advance them on their path to success.
Michigan college level students had over 140 students compete at the 2018 state leadership conference, representing 7 postsecondary chapters. Those in attendance competed in 50 different Workplace Skills Assessment Program events. BPA is looking to build upon that each year and with the help of you and those around you can accomplish that and much more throughout the up and coming years.
For those who are making the transition from high school to college, do not forget to join extra-curricular activities to enhance the culture around you. Be the one to make a name for yourself, compete in competitive events and network like no other. Buckle down, find your niche and grow as a business professional here in BPA. Let the postsecondary division take you to new heights and new places while allowing you to remember where you once came from. BPA is here to take you through college and help you find the passion you have been searching for. There are many reasons as to why join a postsecondary chapter, so what is holding you back?