On Friday, April 18, students from Bellevue College’s DECA chapter competed at a national collegiate-level DECA competition in Orlando, Florida. Twenty students represented Bellevue College and many of them were successful in their respective division. Many of the students who attended also placed in the top five of their categories at the Collegiate DECA Pacific Northwest Career Development Conference in Victoria, British Columbia in February.
“DECA is an academic sport that promotes learning and practical experience in the areas of marketing, business, finance, entrepreneurship and hospitality management through intercollegiate competition,” explained club adviser Kyle Barber. According to their website, BC DECA helps students develop skills that allow them to mature into business leaders.
The conference in Florida was called an unprepared event. In contrast to a prepared event, where the contestants are given unlimited time to think up how to sell their product beforehand, an unprepared event is an event by which the competitors are presented with a scenario and given approximately an hour to think up a solution. Students then are given the chance to present their ideas in front of the judges for 10 to 15 minutes and are then expected to answer questions.
Dorel Roata, one of the Bellevue College representatives who presented on Business-to-Business Marketing, said, “DECA to me is more than just a program. DECA is a place where we can express our business sides with others that are interested in the same world. It is the place where I can practice my business skills and relate it to real-world situations.” Roata is majoring in computer science and engineering, but has always been interested in business and law since he joined the organization as a freshman in high school. When he explained his experience in Florida, Roata said, “I did want to become the top three in Business to Business Marketing but even though I did not, I’m still satisfied that I got to participate. I would recommend that everyone would try out DECA if they are interested in business or not. It’s an experience like no other.” He intends to participate again next year.
Collegiate DECA isn’t just for students that have been practicing since high school. Tana Rulkova joined DECA this January.
“I did International Marketing class with Kyle Barber who is an incredible teacher, and after my first presentation in class, he said he really liked the way I presented and he likes my public speaking skills and he would like to work with me and help me get even better and improve,” Rulkova said.
Coming from the Czech Republic, Rulkova explained, “I see a lot of differences between American market and European market and I think it’s kind of an advantage for me to be able to have that insight that some American students maybe don’t have.” After winning the February tournament in Canada, she went on to place first in the international tournament for International Marketing with her partner Susan Petris. Rulkova, Roata, Petris and other students who competed all placed in the top 10 for their respective categories.
“The organization is a great fit for Bellevue College, as we are developing future leaders in these areas of study, and by having students from all departments and backgrounds participate in DECA, our school is providing opportunities that actually deliver on meaningful career advancement,” said Barber.