Bellevue College’s DECA team had major success at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando, Florida last week. In total, there were more than a thousand Collegiate DECA members present at the competition. From BC, there were 23 students who advanced to ICDC and 20 who placed at the competition, ranging from first to 12th place. Two teams placed 3rd: Clementine Cimetiere in Fashion Marketing, and Alea Kular and Santiago Trujillo in Sports & Entertainment Marketing. Another team, Yuliya Pankiv and Santiago Trujillo, received first place in their event for Emerging Technologies/Digital Marketing. This is the ninth year in a row that the BC DECA team has won at the event.
ICDC is the culmination of considerable hard work, preparation and teamwork. BC DECA’s club president, Eliana Victurine, describes some of this preparation: “We have mandatory one-on-one coaching, peer coaching, and qualifying competitions to earn a spot on our national team.” BC Speech president Kimm Moore said, “The process of getting to ICDC was difficult and challenging…But I had the support of my coaches and teammates, which made it worth[while].” The club also hosts multiple team-bonding activities throughout the year, including the team dinner on Monday at ICDC, where everyone was reunited after their presentations. Victurine strives to make the club both “competitive and supportive” and said, “It was amazing to watch my teammates’ hard work pay off. It was also so special to see how proud and excited everyone was for each other.”
Both Moore and Victurine have participated in DECA for three years and have seen growth within themselves.
Victurine reflected, “I never saw myself as someone who was interested in business. I think there are a lot of students — especially students like myself who are students of color, neurodivergent, and female-presenting students — who do not see a future for themselves in such a white, male-dominated industry. Through the digital marketing program and my DECA experience, I found not only my confidence but my interest and aptitude for business! I also never thought of myself as a competitive person but this team definitely brought that out in me!”
The DECA mission statement is to “prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management.” From the two DECA members interviewed, both seem to have absorbed the benefits of the skills and experience that the competition offers, and have lessons to carry into their future careers. Moore is studying digital marketing, but decided to get out of her comfort zone by participating in a business event, believing that marketers also need experience in business. Although she was an ICDC finalist the past two years (but not this year), as a future small-business owner, Moore gained perspective on building a successful brand. She said, “It taught me sometimes you do win and sometimes you don’t, even if you put in the same amount of effort. You learn what you can control and what’s out of your control. Yet, I am still 110% proud of the work and dedication I have put into DECA over the past three years.”
Thinking back on all the skills gained at Bellevue College and through DECA, Victurine said, “I have never seen myself as a smart or strong student, leader, or businesswoman, and I was never a confident public speaker. Over my three years in DECA and time in the Digital Marketing degree, I have become all of those things! I really do credit a lot of my professional growth to these two programs and I have met some of my closest friends along the way!”
Congratulations Bellevue College DECA, and let’s hope to see the team reach a decade of wins next year!