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The Journey of Two BSC DECA Members at the DECA ICDC

By on May 11, 2018

On April 11-14, 2018, two students from Bay State College, Luke F. and Muzzy I., and their chapter advisor, Elena Swaim, traveled to Arlington, Virginia to participate in the DECA International Career Development Conference. The students “[joined] more than 1,500 Collegiate DECA members from around the world and engaged in Professional Development Academies, Competitive Events, and Management Institutions” (DECA.org). 

Muzzy participated in the Human Resource Management competition, in which individuals are given a case study with an ethical dilemma. “[We] are given a preparation period and then must give a presentation in the form of a meeting to the judges. It's a role play scenario. The meeting must cover certain criteria and performance indicators in order to do well. We're also attending several workshops for developing our skills as business students and entrepreneurs.” Luke stated he was participating in the Hospitality and Tourism event because it was an event that he has experience and knowledge in.  

Started in 1946, DECA “prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe” (DECA.org). It is a not for profit student organization with more than 215,000 members in all fifty U.S. states and in six other countries.  DECA is a huge part of the lives of millions of students and business people.

Luke and Muzzy joined DECA in the Fall 2017 semester and were given the opportunity to attend the ICDC as a result of their hard work in the chapter throughout the year. Both are in their first year at Bay State, and were coached and supported by Professor Swaim and Dr. William Koehler of the BSC Business Department. They practiced with case studies from previous years and spent hours preparing in the hope of performing well in their chosen event. While there, Muzzy and Luke went into their events with no idea what would be asked of them. The intent is for students to analyze a given situation and respond to it. Muzzy was charged with figuring out a way to have a company retain younger employees instead of constantly hiring more, while Luke had to convince a businesswoman that it was worth her money to invest in a comfort food restaurant. The two of them, while not placing in their events, represented Bay State College in a well-mannered and revered way. They each performed to the best of their ability, and created networks with other students and business people who could help them succeed in the future. Most importantly, they had a blast. When not actively participating at the conference, they traveled around Washington D.C., touring historical monuments and marveling at the beautiful Cherry Blossoms. 

Listening to Luke and Muzzy discuss ICDC got me really interested in possibly attending next year, where it will be held in Orlando, Florida.  In order to participate, students must be active members of DECA. Members meet once a week on Thursdays, and it’s free to join. If you have any questions, contact the Bay State College DECA Chapter Advisor, Professor Elena Swaim at eswaim@baystate.edu.