Hopkinton High School students showed they meant business at the state leadership conference for the Business Professionals of America held Feb. 29-March 2 at sites in Framingham and Marlborough.
HHS junior Shreya Thalvayapati was elected state secretary of the Massachusetts Business Professionals of America, and a number of her classmates took home honors.
The BPA provides opportunities for students to work on projects related to business, including such topics as finance, IT and computer applications. Students work with mentors in the business community who provide feedback on these projects.
Doug Scott, a business/technology/engineering instructor at HHS, had been involved in Business Professionals of America when he worked at another school district. When he learned that HHS did not have such a program, he decided to become involved as an advisor. The program, he said, “really fits in well with our business, technology and engineering department at Hopkinton High School.”
Students meet several times a month as a large group, then break up into smaller groups to work on projects on a range of topics. Hopkinton students worked on projects including economic research, computer modeling and digital publishing. They do the work before and after school and during study periods.
Students involved in Business Professionals of America learn about the specifics of their projects. But perhaps even more importantly, they develop “soft skills,” Scott said, including learning how to communicate with each other and how to work together in a productive way.
“In today’s digital age, those soft skills are limited by and sometimes throttled by technology,” Scott said. “These are skills they need.”
For Thalvayapati, as secretary she will manage social media platforms across the state and ensure members are updated on association news.
She encourages her classmates to consider joining BPA.
“It’s such a wonderful community,” she said of her BPA colleagues.
“It’s just a good way to get involved,” she added. “Academic input is important,” but extracurriculars can expand that knowledge, she said.
The program has taught such important skills as leadership and time management, which can be a vital lesson for students, she explained.
“Waiting until the last minute won’t likely get you the best results,” she said.
Hopkinton High School winners included Tyler Rhodes, Ben Morey-Beale, Shreya Thalvayapati and Sankalp Subhendu (first place, Global Marketing Team), Rhodes (first place, Computer Modeling), Thalvayapati (first place, Economic Research), Mantra Rajkumar (first place, Digital Media Production), Ayush Krishnamony, Kevin Liu, Ethan DeYoung and Will Dionne (first place, Economic Research Team), Mahdi Maymandi-Nejad (first place, Java Programming), Sucheta Sunder (second place, Computer Modeling), Ashley McDermott (second place, Advanced Interview Skills), Tiffany Ramsarran (second place, Business Law and Ethics), Mahdi Maymandi-Nejad (third place, C++ Programming), Will Dionne (third place, Business Law and Ethics), Cindy Yang (third place, Digital Publishing) and Alveena Ehsan (fifth place, Medical Office Procedures). Helena Hubbe won the Diplomate Torch Award.
Editor’s note: This story appears in the April 8 print edition of the Hopkinton Independent.