Twenty-two students from Hopkinton High School’s Business Professionals of America club qualified at a state event to attend the National Leadership Conference on April 26-30 in Anaheim, California.
In addition, Dhruv Shah was elected state president and Vainavi Malisetty was elected state secretary.
In the state competition, first-place winners were Veer Bhatia, Pranamya Keshkamat and Shaurya Patni (Network Design team); Ryan Hicks, Pranav Kapoor, Robert Litscher and Samuel Vasington (Global Marketing team); Anya Krishnamony, Odundo Omondi and Emily Skaff (User Experience Design Using Adobe XD team); Neya Rajasingh (Financial Analyst); Kaesha Rajgor (Economic Research); and Sahithi Pogula (Health Leadership).
Second-place finishers included Neil Abraham, Kyle Bertucci-Bissonette, Nathan Carson and Bharat Mekala (Small Business Management team); Harini Thatigutla (Global Marketing); Sanketh Udupa (Digital Media Production); and Alveena Ehsan (Health Leadership).
Also, Surya Raja competed in Digital Media Production.
Advisor Doug Scott said this group of students has been “hard working and enthusiastic,” adding, “It is always rewarding as an educator to see that when students work hard, it pays off for them.”
Scott explained that the students prepare for the competition by selecting events in which to compete, receiving feedback from him and professionals in the industry and then moving from the regional event to try to advance to the state and national levels.
The students have been raising funds for the competition, including through a town-assigned Boston Marathon runner.
“The club has been fortunate and is grateful to [Hopkinton Public Schools], HPTO, parental support and the town of Hopkinton for their financial and logistical support,” Scott said.
He noted that the most valuable part of the experience for students are the transferable skills that they can apply to “all facets of life.”
Scott said, “Our focus is on developing people, not just award-winning projects.”
Shah said being named state president includes serving a larger part of the BPA organization and becoming a member of its board.
“The election process was fun to go through, and everything from the statement of intent to the campaign rally allowed me to grow as a person and a leader,” Shah said.
At the national event, the state BPA president is most looking forward to competing in the entrepreneurship category and electing new officers to the executive team. Shah also is excited about the national officer elections.
Shah’s project involved taking on the task of forming a business idea, writing an entire business plan for it and organizing a presentation to “deliver a powerful statement on every aspect of this establishment. … Although challenging, it’s a great way to use your creativity and learn more about how businesses pitch to investors.”
Sophomore Pranamya Keshkamat, along with a team, is looking forward to presenting a network design for three baseball stadiums.
“Each of these stadiums has specific network requirements that we had to address, and at nationals we will receive a last-minute addition to incorporate into our presentation,” Keshkamat explained.
Senior Kyle Bertucci-Bissonnette and his team will be competing in the small business management team event with a presentation about a company that needs restructuring.
“We address all aspects of the business plan—marketing, expansion, getting ahead and the problems and solutions,” Bertucci-Bissonnette said.
He has competed at the BPA event during all four years of high school, even through COVID, and is excited about the social aspect as well.
“I love meeting new people, networking and getting that full experience while there,” he said. “BPA makes my year and I’m sure a lot of others’. It’s such a great experience and time to learn about the business world and be able to apply knowledge and strategies.”