NHS freshman headed to national Business Professionals contestPublished 10:28pm Friday, April 16, 2010
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
When she participated in state competition as part of Niles’ Business Professionals of America (BPA) chapter, Erica Haimbaugh was at first a bit disappointed.
She’d entered into the competition for prepared speech and during that competition took advantage of some open testing options in various subjects including administrative support concepts.
“Which is like, (for example) if you’re a secretary or you know, you’re running something,” she said, the test asks a multitude of related questions.
“Anyone could take them,” Haimbaugh said.
Students from various BPA chapters compete throughout the country in various subjects of business.
The program has gotten some local attention. Students from both Niles and Edwardsburg competed at state and regional levels and as the economy has made succeeding in business all the more crucial and colleges become more and more competitive, such programs at the high school level could only help students with success on both fronts in the future.
Students such as Haimbaugh, a freshman. Though she didn’t qualify for finals in prepared speech, Haimbaugh won a medal in administrative support concepts.
“I was really surprised because I didn’t think I was going to get it,” she said.
Plenty happy with her medal, Haimbaugh had even more surprises in store for her when her teacher, Michele Clement, advised her that she’d qualified to compete in BPA nationals.
Meaning that open test she’d taken on a whim won her a ticket to California.
“I was all excited,” she said.
She had been disappointed at not making finals in prepared speech, which is what led her to taking the administrative support services test in the first place.
Now, Haimbaugh will be joined by Clement and her mother when they head out to nationals.
In those standardized tests that usually give high school students an idea of what they might be good at, the Niles High School freshman said business was on her list and that led her to take sign up for Clement’s business classes.
Haimbaugh said in terms of choosing business as a career, her options are still open and she’s even considering teaching, the 15-year-old has plenty of time to decide what she wants to do when she leaves high school.
“I’ve got time,” she said. “I was thinking about being a teacher because I do like little kids and I like school.”
One thing she knows for certain is that her education in business is giving her skills that will make a difference for her in the future.
“I signed up for accounting and I think marketing,” Haimbaugh said about the classes she wants to take next year.
“I really like that everything, you know it just has once answer. Just like math,” she said. “You can’ t different variables, it’s pretty cut and dry.”
She added she didn’t realize business was such a complicated process.
“I had no idea,” she said.
Her friends and family are excited for her and Haimbaugh said she’s looking forward to taking as many additional tests at the national competition as possible.
Haimbaugh, her mother and Clement will head out to California on May 5, returning May 9 — and her hopes for her trip are pretty cut and dry as well.
“A gold medal,” she said. “That would be cool.”