Kansas student wins BPA National Championship

Kansas student wins BPA National Championship
Posted on 05/22/2018
Jesse Downing wins national championshipJay High School student Jesse Downing was one of 10 students from the Northeast Tech Kansas Campus who attended a national skills competition as part of his CareerTech training, and he was the first to return as a national champion.

“When my name was called as the national champion, I was a bit surprised. I knew that I made Top Ten so would be going on stage no matter what but I expected to get second or third place,” Downing said. “When they called the names of the third and second place winners I figured that I didn't even make Top Three, so I was a little shocked when they said that I was the champion.”

Downing is enrolled in the Business Administration, Multimedia and Graphics Program at Northeast Tech, and as part of his training, he participates in the Business Professionals of America (BPA). The mobile app he developed landed him in the Top Ten at the BPA State Competition earlier this year, earning a trip to the BPA National Competition in Dallas.

“The mobile applications contest that I entered required that I create a social media application, more specifically one that has features other social medias lack,” Downing said. “The application that I created was for Business Professionals of America, and now that the contest is over, if BPA wanted to develop the application further I would love to help them any way I can. If not, it will stay a prototype.”

Surprisingly, developing the app was the easy part.

“The hardest part of the competition for me was getting over my nervous, shy nature,” said Downing. “This competition required me to not only create an app, but also pitch the idea to judges and anyone else who wanted to hear about it. This required talking to countless strangers – something that I don't like to do.”

But with the help of his peers and his Northeast Tech Instructor, Crystal Beyers, Downing was able to overcome his apprehension, win a National Championship and have a little fun along the way.

“One of the most valuable learning experiences that I gained from the BPA competition was the business panel meeting that I attended,” Downing said. “This was where CEOs gave us advice and answered our questions about education and what employers expect out of graduates.”

Downing’s plans after graduation include entering the workforce, preferably in a graphic design or program development capacity. As he looks forward to that transition, he has a bit of advice for those students still in high school.

“I would tell students who are considering attending Northeast Tech to go for it. For high school students it is free and there isn't a down side,” said Downing. “You get basically a college education for free, not to mention it looks great on a resume.”
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