Brandon Ellis is getting a firsthand look at leadership.
Ellis, a 2015 graduate of Meridian Technology Center and Pawnee High School, recently accepted a full-time position as a staff assistant for Senator Jim Inhofe’s office in Washington, D.C.
In this role, Ellis’ typical day might include greeting guests, traveling with the senator to meetings and assisting with administrative duties in the office. All skills he said he sharpened during his time at Tech.
“Mary Barton, my Business Technology instructor, really is the person who helped me prepare for the job that I have now,” he said. “She taught me what it meant to be professional. She focused on teaching students soft skills, how to present yourself in business settings and how to deliver presentations.”
With Barton’s encouragement and mentorship, Ellis said he developed the confidence he needed to confidently seek out and take advantage of leadership opportunities as they crossed his path.
While at Meridian, Ellis was a member of Business Professionals of America (BPA). He served as president at the local level his first year of Tech and then served as state vice president during his senior year. He participated in BPA skills contests, winning first and second place at the state level, and competed at the national contest. He was also a member of SkillsUSA, another student organization.
As a student at Oklahoma State University, Ellis continued to seek out organizations that would allow him to expand his leadership opportunities. He was an active member in Greek life where he also served as the philanthropy chair for his fraternity, a member of the Business Student Council, Business News Club, Entrepreneurship Club, Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and Order of Omega. He also served as the Executive Director of College Republicans.
When he moved to Washington, D.C., for what he thought was a summer position, Ellis didn’t waste any time getting plugged into associations for young professionals. He’s glad that he did since his summer job has since turned into a full-time opportunity.
While he’s still getting acquainted with a new city and a new job, Ellis said there’s one thing that he’s not worried about – continuing to expand his leadership skills.
“Leadership can take you anywhere,” he said. “You just have to step out and get involved.”
CareerTech Student Organizations
Full-time adult and high school students attending Meridian can join one of several student organizations related to their field of study: Business Professionals of America; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; HOSA – Future Health Professionals; or SkillsUSA. Students in Culinary Arts also have the opportunity to participate in the ProStart skills contests that are sponsored by the National Restaurant Association.
These organizations provide students an opportunity to gain leadership skills and ultimately compete against other technology center students from across the state and nation. During each round of competition, students develop and demonstrate skills that include public speaking, presenting, working together as a team, interviewing and technical skills related to their area of study.