MUSCATINE, Iowa–For Muscatine Community Colleges students interested in careers in business, or adjacent fields such as administration, finance, and information technology, Business Professionals of America provides them a place to explore their interests outside of the classroom. To compliment local leadership activities and business tours, the organization attends three larger events each year, a fall leadership conference, spring leadership conference, and the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference. A time to network, learn, and compete, three Muscatine students participated in different focus areas. Between them, the students brought home several individual awards as well as a Quality Chapter Award.
After qualifying at the spring leadership conference, Quyen Do, Lindsey Hunter, and Ricardo Pena competed in several contests. Hunter participated in device configuration and trouble shooting as well as computer network technology. Do placed in the top 10 in the advanced college accounting; management, marketing, and human resources concepts; and personal financial management contests. Pena earned second place in interview skills and third place in business law and ethics.
Corey Frad, a co-advisor for Muscatine Community College’s Business Professionals of America Chapter, took pride in the accomplishments of the students who competed. “We are thrilled,” she beamed. “To perform in competitive events at the level that these three students did speaks to their character and shows the dedication they have to grow professionally.”
Additionally, Muscatine Community College’s chapter of Business Professionals of America earned a Quality Chapter Award. These awards celebrate individual chapters with clear commitments to offering professional development opportunities, completing service projects, fundraising to support themselves and others, and attending Business Professionals of America events regularly.
Outside of the competitions, Muscatine Community College’s Business Professionals of America members participated in a variety of sessions focusing on different business topics, such as the benefits of industry specific certifications, the value of professionalism, and how networking within an industry can yield opportunities. Students also took part in Business Professionals of America’s National Service Project to support Special Olympics and toured several sites in Dallas, Texas, where the convention took place, including the AT&T Discovery District and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
When back in Muscatine, Business Professionals of America members keep just as busy as they did ant the national convention. A service-oriented group, they make a point of giving back to the community in numerous ways, such as by volunteering at the Special Olympics Play Day for young children, baking desserts for the Art of Gardening workshop put on by Muscatine County Master Gardeners, and cleaning up Muscatine Community College’s campus for Earth Day. Now that COVID-19 pandemic has diminished, they look forward to offering more professional development opportunities by touring different local businesses to learn more about various industries.
Open to all interested Muscatine Community College Students, co-advisor Angela Henning believes participation helps students gain the experiences and skills that will help them build both strong resumes and strong careers, whatever fields they choose to enter. “In the future, whether it being in a workplace or academic setting, these students can reflect on their BPA experiences to continue sharpening skills and contribute to any team they are a part of.”