Students prepare for ROP competition


Mabel Kabani, news editor

Five students have been nominated from the Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD), to compete in the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) outstanding student competition on Wednesday, March 6 in Downey, Calif.

Twenty-five students were selected by their ROP teachers from various courses, and Megen Anspach, ROP Counselor, aided in narrowing the list of 25 candidates to five who would be competing in the county competition.

Students were tested on their ability to fill out job applications, compose job resumes and respond in interviews, according to Anspach.

For winning the onsite competition, the five members won certificates and may potentially win bronze, silver and gold medals in the county competition, as well as possibly earning grants and scholarship money.

The five students competing in the outstanding student competition are: senior Sheyna Messiqua, representing Psychology and Counseling Principals; senior Julia Waldow, representing Desktop Publishing and Highlights Online; senior Eva Zheng, representing Entrepreneurship and Robotics; senior Natalie Gordon, representing TV and Film Production and junior Sarah Peskin, representing the Office Occupations and Work Experience program.

“All five students will have to, during the county competition, be interviewed by business professionals at a panel, have to fill out job applications and write resumes and present some type of work sample in a presentation to the judges, according to their ROP course,” Anspach said.

To prepare for this competition, Waldow put together a Desktop-Publishing-related presentation that would include “the award winning work [she] did in San Antonio” as well as “some layouts from the print edition.”

Though Waldow hopes to attain the highest position available at the competition, she has “learned a lot about interviewing and presenting, and [is] thankful for this opportunity.”

Messiqua prepared a video for the competition in order to display her interests in both psychology and the entertainment industry. Though Messiqua does not want to pursue psychology as a potential career, she believes understanding the subject will “help her with [acting] and give her more insight” into acting, a field she hopes to establish a career in.

Zheng, on the other hand, is preparing herself for the county competition by reviewing the judging rubric to know what to expect come March 6. She plans to do well in the competition to help Beverly attain recognition in this field. She also hopes that the event will help her in her pursuit of careers in the technological field.

“I am definitely pursuing entrepreneurship in the long run,” Zheng said. “I will be studying computer science in college, largely due to my exposure to STEM in Robotics. It’s just fascinating and I see a really promising future in the tech industry.”

Zheng feels that she has a slight advantage in the competition, as she feels comfortable in a room with older and more experienced people. Her position as one of three presenters of the Chairman Award at regional Robotics competitions since her freshman year has also given her “a slight advantage when it comes to having experience with judges.”

According to Gaby Herbst, ROP teacher and Highlights advisor, the students have benefitted by coming from a small school district.

“If there were multiple high schools in the district, the winners from each high school would have to compete with each other, before moving on,” Herbst said.

This year, the students’ main goal is to simply soak in the opportunity and try to win Beverly as many medals as possible.