Junior Shreya Yadav, Vamika Bangarukathi and Aishwarya Ramkumar Babu pose at the Business Professionals of America (BPA) state competition. Junior Nisha Pandya, Ramkumar Babu and Yadav pose together. The three competed as a team in the Economic Research Team event.
Junior Shreya Yadav, Vamika Bangarukathi and Aishwarya Ramkumar Babu pose at the Business Professionals of America (BPA) state competition. Junior Nisha Pandya, Ramkumar Babu and Yadav pose together. The three competed as a team in the Economic Research Team event.
Provided by Aishwarya Ramkumar Babu

BPA to go compete at nationals convention May 10-14

Four juniors will compete at the Business Professionals of America (BPA) national competition from May 10-14 in Chicago. This is the first time students from Hebron will attend the BPA national conference. 

To earn a spot at nationals, Shreya Yadav, Aishwarya Ramkumar Babu and Nisha Pandya competed as a group in the Economic Research Team event at the state competition and placed third. Aishwarya also competed in an individual event, Advanced Office Systems and Procedures, where she placed sixth. Vamika Bangarukathi competed in an individual Graphic Design Promotion event and placed second.

The Economic Research Team event consists of creating a presentation and a seven-page paper on the evolution of the stock market. Students compared the traditional stock market to the 21st-century stock market and evaluated the digital stock market and disruptions the market has had over the years.  

Here is a look at the qualifiers.

Nisha Pandya – advancing in the Economic Research Team

Nisha was always surrounded by business. At 7 years old, she was at the front desk of her grandmother’s hotel, checking people into their rooms. She spent all summer in Michigan with her grandmother, learning to love business. In the future, she plans on majoring in finance. 

“There’s a lot of untouched markets in business, and there’s a lot of places where you can go,” Nisha said. “If you have a lot of experience and if you’re skilled, you can grow really, really fast. ”

Other than BPA, Nisha participates in the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) and Technology Student Association (TSA). She shadows family and friends who work in finance and accounting, where she is able to learn what their jobs entail.

“I find [shadowing] really interesting, especially with accounting,,” Nisha said. “It just works well with my brain; it’s like solving a puzzle and I’m like OK, I know how to do this.’”

Since Nisha has never traveled to the windy city, she said she is excited to see the city at night and take tours with her friends at nationals. Next year, Nisha said she hopes to become an officer for BPA and continue competing in the economic research team event with the same group.

“We’re going to put in the most effort that we can [for nationals], ” Nisha said. “For us, it’s definitely like we’ve made it this far and what’s a little more effort to, hopefully, at least place at nationals..”

Shreya Yadav – advancing in the Economic Research Team

The only reason Shreya went to her first DECA meeting was because her friends were there, but as she learned more about the events, she became fascinated with creating presentations. Since then, she has joined multiple other clubs including BPA, TSA and Speech and Debate. 

“I did [Speech and] Debate my freshman year, and that helped me with my business skills because it helped with presentations,” Shreya said. “That made me more inclined to do presentation-type events when it comes to different organizations.”

Outside of school, Sherya tutors refugee students and volunteers. She is also on the financial team for the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Thinkers Club. For the future, Shreya is still figuring out what she wants to major in for college.

“I’m hoping that since [nationals is] during AP exam season that nobody is going to come,” Shreya said. “I hope that [my group and I] can also memorize our presentation and then kind of like add different components [to it] which I think could help, considering we were a little bit under time. [That] is good, so that we have flexibility.”

Shreya said she hopes to become a BPA officer next year so that she can help incoming sophomores and freshmen with their presentation skills and teach them how to present for certain events.  

“This year, there was a lot of preparation that was very independently based,” Shreya said. “Next year with being on the officer team, I’ll be able to [help people] make [it] to nationals again.”

Aishwarya Ramkumar Babu – advancing in Economic Research Team and Individual Advanced Office Systems and Procedures events

It began in middle school when Aishwarya realized how interested she was in law. However, to get into law, she realized that she would need an undergraduate degree first, which began her business journey.

“I didn’t really know what my undergrad was going to be, so I started joining similar clubs as my sister,” Aishwarya said. “I joined DECA because I knew a lot about it since my sister was very skilled in it. I realized how much fun [DECA] was and then how much I really liked the business side of aspects and marketing.”

Aishwarya is on the debate team and said the aspect of being able to talk to and persuade judges is one of her strengths. Outside of school, she has been doing Indian classical dancing for 13 years. She is also on the marketing team for the CAD Thinkers Club, which helps children in elementary school learn about 3D design and automation.

“This year, we did a mock trial as part of debate, and it got me to understand how a trial room works,” Aishwarya said. “In the past, I would watch [law] shows. [Now] I’ve seen how the courtrooms work, and I feel like [debating and arguing are] my strong suits.”

Along with competing with her friends in the team event, Aishwarya competed in an Individual Advanced Office Systems and Procedures event, where she had a multiple choice portion and an application portion on Office 365. In individual events, the top six students with the highest scores advance to nationals.

“[I’m excited to] see everyone [competing at nationals] since there’ll be people from every state and [I’ll be able to] make connections there,” Aishwarya said. “[I get to] have that experience of competing against so many different people.”

Vamika Bangarukathi – advancing in the Individual Graphic Design Promotion event

Vamika’s passion for art started in fourth grade, and she has been creating art and submitting itin competitions for multiple years. This year, she learned graphic design and digital art and competed in the Individual Graphic Design Promotion event, where she had to design a logo for a company and present her idea in front of a judge. 

“I’ve never done anything online, so that’s the one reason why I chose Graphic Design Promotion over the other events; it was really new to me,” Vamika said. “I had to learn a lot while I was making my designs and I’ve entered in competitions for my art, but graphic design [is something] I’ve never done before, and digital art I’ve never done either.”

Although BPA is something Vamika does for fun, her real love lies in learning about the medical field. She recently competed in Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), and she volunteers at the Children’s Medical Hospital. Last summer, she volunteered at a hospice center and shadowed a couple of doctors while also working on biological research at the University of Texas at Austin.

“I’m going to do BPA again next year, and I think I’ll continue the same event,” Vamika said. “I thought it was really fun doing it because it’s separated from academics and graphic design is more artistic.”

For next year, Vamika applied for an officer position in BPA. She said she is excited to explore Chicago when she goes to nationals because she has never been there before and has always wanted to go.

“I think I just want to try my best and present as best as I can,” Vamika said. “Hopefully I’ll place, but I’m not expecting it too much. There’s so many people I’m going to be going against at nationals. I didn’t try as hard to memorize my script or prepare as much for state, so I really want to work harder preparing for nationals.”

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