Members of the Davenport University faculty and staff prepare for a Business Professionals of America competition. Courtesy Davenport University
Davenport University will feel like an educational cross between The Hunger Games and a J.K. Rowling-like wizarding tournament this weekend.
More than 200 college students from universities and colleges across the state will be calling Davenport University's Lettinga Campus home in the spirit of business competition.
DU will host the annual Business Professionals of America State Competition from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at 6191 Kraft Ave. SE, Caledonia.
Students will compete individually and in teams. More than 50 different business and technology events are part of the competition and include accounting, business skills, technology, public speaking and presentation skills.
The best of the best from this competition move on to the BPA nationals, which take place in May in Orlando.
Davenport always does well at both the state and national levels, said DU junior Michael Croff, a marketing major.
DU will have 35 students competing at this year’s state-level event, he said.
This will be Croff’s third year at the BPA state competition. He made it to nationals his first year, but was unable to make the cut last year.
This time around, he’s determined to make it back.
“We do really well. Our DU advisors make sure to follow-up and make sure we are prepared for state events,” he said. “They will practice with us and give us past tests from previous years to go over.”
Participation in a competitive business event looks great on a resume, Croff said, and the training he’s learned from past events has helped develop his skills.
“It’s great for students to be able to practice your skills and present your skills," he said. "There’s a lot of specific skills in events, but then also the presentation aspect. It’s also a social event, so there’s a lot of time to socialize with people from your event and other universities. It’s fun.”
The award ceremony will be at 6 p.m. Saturday in Davenport’s Robert W. Sneden Center Auditorium.