Business and Computer Clubs Head to National Conference


Thirteen students from Southeastern Community College's Business and Computer Clubs earned top ranks at the Business Professionals of America (BPA) State Leadership Conference in Des Moines on February 18-19.

Those students will advance to the BPA National Leadership Conference in Grapevine, Texas in May.

BPA is the top career and technical student organization for students pursuing careers in business management, office administration, information technology, and related career fields.

Corey Bielser of Gladstone, IL, Joy Mack of Fort Madison, IA, Thane McConnell of Mt. Pleasant, IA, Jesse Miller of Burlington, IA, Luis Valdez of Wapello, IA, James Noble of Hamilton, IL, Jacob Pearson of Burlington, IA, Tyler Saben-Smith of Mediapolis, IA, Ryan Smith of Wapello, IA, and Coltin Taylor of Hamilton, IL, all qualified to advance to the national competition.

SCC Network Administration and Cyber Security Instructor, Brenda Wamsley, is the co-advisor of the Computer Club. She noted that competing at Nationals allows her students to take Microsoft Certification Exams for a significantly less fee than it otherwise costs, making the students even more marketable in their fields.

Additionally, she appreciates the validation that performing well at competitions gives her students.

"I just love seeing students get excited about doing well in their competitions, because I think it emphasizes that, 'Yes, you do know what you're doing,'" Wamsley stated. "I'm always really proud of how well the students do, and they always say, 'Oh, we couldn't have done it with you.' But I think it really is how hard the students worked and their drive to succeed."

This is the fifth year that the Computer Club has qualified to advance to the national competition.
Administrative Assistant Program Instructor and Coordinator Trisha Hopper is the co-advisor of the Business Club. She says students have gone on to Nationals each year for the last 20 years.
Each Business Club student earned high ranks amongst their peers and won first place in a category, allowing them to advance to Nationals.

Harley Jones of Donnellson, IA, came in first in Fundamental Spreadsheet Applications. Pete Joy of Keokuk reached first in Ethics and Professionalism. Viola McGill of Keokuk received first place in Interview Skills.

Hopper likes seeing the growth among her club members.

"It puts them in a position in which they have to get out of their comfort zone," Hopper said. "And once they do that, it just opens their eyes to realize, 'I can do this. I can stand in a room full of experts and present something that I just learned. I can do that! If I can do that, what else can I do?'"

She and Wamsley are looking forward to witnessing their students' work in May.

"They're all go-getters," Hopper stated proudly. "It's going to be a lot of fun at Nationals."

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