BPA students attend national competition for first time

Two seniors from Lake Orion High School will find themselves in the ‘Big Apple? next week, as they will be representing Lake Orion at the Business Professionals of America (BPA) 2007 National Leadership Conference.
Matt Nawrocki and Ian Rogan will attend the conference in New York from May 8 through 13, joining 6,000 students from around the country to participate in national-level business skill competitions, workshops and general sessions.
Both students had made strong showings at the regional competition, placing high in events and qualifying for the state tournament where they continued their success. Nawrocki finished fourth in VB (visual basic) Net Programming and Rogan took third in Administrative Support Concepts.
According to BPA advisor Jennifer Ohlrich, BPA has been active at Lake Orion High School for eight years, and Nawrocki and Rogan are the first national qualifiers.
‘They’re both very hardworking, have strong work ethics and leadership skills, are great team players and work really hard not only in BPA, but as students and leaders around the high school,? Ohlrich said.
Both students feel as though their experiences with BPA is helping them with developing skills for their futures. Nawrocki plans on attending the University of Michigan to study business administration with a minor in computer science. Rogan is off to Northern Michigan University to study forensics biochemistry.
Nawrocki and Rogan have found that a lot of characteristics needed to be successful in BPA are also needed to be successful in life.
‘Determination, a good drive for success and you need leadership ability,? Nawrocki said about what skills are necessary, ‘and you need to really like what you are doing.?
Rogan agrees with Nawrocki.
‘You have to be a leader to be successful. A lot of the events are individual and it’s all on you, so you have to have the organization and determination to get it done,? Rogan said.
Rogan said that there are other times when you need to work in a group and teamwork is important. During these times, he says, you need to have the communication skills to be able to share new ideas with your group.
Nawrocki also credits BPA with helping develop time-management skills.
Next week, Nawrocki and Rogan will have a chance to once again showcase their skills and talents they have developed through BPA, while also having a little fun. The national conference marks not only another competition, but also a chance to explore the city. Neither Nawrocki nor Rogan has been to New York before, and both are excited to see the sights.