Students Excel at BPA National Leadership Conference 2024

Natasha Grad takes 1st in the nation in Interview Skills; Tyson Delic takes 2nd in the nation in same competition

Ericka Wortham, Natasha Grad, Tyson Delic

Three students at Dakota County Technical College performed exceptionally well in competitions at this year’s Business Professionals of America (BPA) National Leadership Conference, “Seize the Opportunity,” May 10–14, 2024, at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.

Natasha Grad, Digital Marketing Specialist and Professional Photography major, took first place in the nation in the Interview Skills competition. Tyson Delic, Business Administration major, took second place in the nation that competition. Erika Wortham, Accounting major, placed in the top 10 in the nation in four competitions.

Marie Saunders

All together, the three students placed in the top 10 in the nation in 11 competitions. See below for details. 

Marie Saunders, accounting faculty, serves as the advisor for the BPA chapter at the college. Marie was very impressed by the performances of the DCTC students.

“The BPA National Leadership Conference is always a great event!” she said. “The students are kept busy with their competitions, but still have time to sightsee while at the conference. The greatest reward for me is to see the students excel in their competitions. It makes me proud to be an instructor at DCTC.”

Learn more about the BPA NLC 2024 in Chicago by clicking image below:

Natasha Grad

Natasha Grad
2024 Graduate
Dakota County Technical College

Natasha Grad, 29, graduated from Dakota County Technical College this spring with a Digital Marketing Specialist A.A.S., Professional Photography A.A.S., and a  Small Business Entrepreneurship certificate. Natasha served as the student speaker a the college’s 2024 commencement ceremony.

She made the most of her time at DCTC. She worked as the Student Senate campus liaison and served as president of both Rotaract Club and the Business Professionals of America (BPA) Minnesota state chapter.

Natasha served as the college’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) chapter social media specialist, an Alumni Advisory Board student representative, an active leader in the Wellness Club, and a student ambassador. She plans on following her entrepreneurial drive by owning her own photography business along with businesses in freelance marketing and pageant coaching. She is eager to continue her education by earning a bachelor’s degree in the near future.

Learn more about Natasha by reading her DCTC News story: “Commencement Speaker Spotlight: Natasha Grad

BPA NLC 2024 competition results
515 Interview Skills (PS), 1st place
592 Parliamentary Procedure Concepts–Open (PS), 5th place
593 Project Management Concepts–Open (PS), 6th place
594 Digital Marketing Concepts–Open (PS), 6th place

One word that best describes your experience at DCTC:


Tyson Delic

Tyson Delic
Business Administration Major
Dakota County Technical College

Originally from St. George, Utah, Tyson Delic graduated from Valley High School, Class of 1996. Tyson owns and manages two businesses. He has plans to graduate from DCTC in 2026. He is looking forward to continuing his education at Metropolitan State University.

BPA NLC 2024 competition results
515 Interview Skills (PS), 2nd place
530 Contemporary Issues (PS), 7th place
535 Human Resource Management (PS), 7th place

One word that best describes your experience at DCTC:


Erika Wortham

Erika Wortham
Accounting Major
Dakota County Technical College

Age: 31
Hometown: Rosemount, Minnesota
Current residence: Farmington, Minnesota
High school and year graduated: Rosemount High School, Class of 2011
Major and degree earning at DCTC: Accounting A.A.S.
DCTC planned graduation date: Undetermined: switching to part-time courses because she’s having a baby girl in August 2024
Career plans: Working as an accountant at Trellis Hospitality with plans to stay there for a while

One word that best describes your experience at DCTC:


* Due to Marie Saunders. She’s been absolutely amazing and extremely helpful and encouraging.

Erika Wortham Q & A

How has your participation in Business Professionals of America (BPA) helped you advance your academic and career goals?
BPA gave me a push that I didn’t realize I needed. I didn’t realize how low my confidence was before BPA and how much I doubted myself. BPA participation taught me to just go for it and gave me the confidence to try other things in life as well!

What is your favorite memory from your trip to the 2024 BPA National Leadership Conference in Chicago?
My favorite memory would be the awards ceremony. Everyone is just cheering everyone on, and it’s just a really good vibe after a weekend of competition.

How did you prepare for your competitions at the conference?
A lot of the events I participated in, I was also currently in classes for. So, I was able to use my courses to help prepare me for the weekend!

What advice would you give students thinking about joining BPA at DCTC?
Just do it. There are SO many events to participate in and you get to meet so many people! I truly don’t have enough good things to say about BPA.

It’s just a big group of people who are cheering you on and supporting you. Even if you are competing against another person, they’re still so supportive of you! Very friendly competition and just amazing people to be around.

BPA NLC 2024 competition results
265 Business Law & Ethics (PS), 5th place
190 Financial Math & Analysis Concepts–Open (PS), 8th place
540 Ethics & Professionalism (PS), 8th place
230 Fundamental Spreadsheet Applications (PS)–Microsoft Office Specialist Excel 2019 Associate, 10th place

About Business Professionals of America (BPA)¹

Business Professionals of America is the nation’s leading CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organization) for students pursuing careers in business management, information technology, finance, accounting office administration, and other business-related career fields.

With 45,000 members in over 1,800 chapters across 25 states and Puerto Rico as well as international presence in China and Peru, BPA is a co-curricular organization that supports business and information technology educators by offering co-curricular exercises based on national standards.

Learn more about Business Professionals of America (BPA) at DCTC by contacting:

Marie Saunders
Accounting Faculty
BPA Faculty Advisor
Dakota County Technical College

Amy Evanson
Administrative Technology Faculty
BPA Faculty Advisor
Dakota County Technical College

¹ SOURCE: Business Professionals of America (BPA)


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