Magic Valley students take skills to Business Professionals of America conference

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - It was a big day for hundreds of Magic Valley students as they competed in the Business Professionals of America Region 6 Leadership Conference Monday that promotes leadership, career development and community service.

Approximately 300 students across 13 schools gathered at the College of Southern Idaho to compete among more than 50 categories as teams or individuals. This included finance, digital communication and management information.

Twin Falls High School senior Hollie Maccabee got involved with BPA as a sophomore and previously competed in nationals. This year, she competed in presentation management as an individual.

"I had to create a 10 minute presentation along with props along with the PowerPoint also," Maccabee explained. "I started preparing back in November. So on and off, about two months that I prepared and practiced and rehearsed my speech."

Coming out of her presentation, she couldn't wait for the results.

"I felt confident in how I did," she said. "The judges were really encouraging."

Cheyon Sheen is also a senior at Twin Falls High School and she took BPA as just another club at first.

"I got more involved into it and I competed more and took part of the leadership skills I was provided, I was able to grow and I ran for state office last year, so I'm now the current state president of Idaho," Sheen said.

This year, she participated in presentation management as an individual, in addition to financial analysis in a team.

"In financial analysis, I was given the business. From there, I was the analyst and made all the financial statements — income statement, balance sheet — and then presented why we would invest in a certain way or why we shouldn't," Sheen elaborated.

With her experience with BPA, she says she grew a passion for it and now wants to pursue a future career that's business-related.

As for Maccabee, she hopes to study chemical engineering and minor in international business, but she came out of BPA with very valuable skills.

"From competing, it just gives you a lot of life and workplace skills. You know, the ability to give a presentation and be comfortable talking in front of people, I think, is important no matter what career you pursue," Maccabee said.

The top two or three individuals/teams in each category will move on to the state conference in Boise this March to compete for nationals that will take place in Dallas, Texas, in May.

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