DECA Got Me Out Of My Comfort Zone And Into An Incredible Job

DECA Got Me Out Of My Comfort Zone And Into An Incredible Job

Next time you wonder how to prepare yourself to get a job in the future, think DECA.

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DECA is a business club that is offered at high school and collegiate levels. It provides students with real-world experiences that relate to the specific field they want to pursue as a career.

DECA stands by their mission which is to, "Prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe."

DECA hosts two annual competitions/conferences which include state and nationals. The competition consists of either a case study or a presentation. Both of which are presented in front of one to three judges. The judges are a group of diverse business professionals who volunteer their time to give students authentic and realistic feedback. The main difference between case studies and presentations are that case studies are unprepared and a presentation is prepared.

There are many different business fields that students are able to choose from based on their knowledge and skills. For example, last academic year I competed in the Fashion Merchandising and Marketing case studies. I took on the challenge to presume the role of a Marketing Director for a company (stated in the case study) and come up with a creative idea to market towards customers. Whereas a presentation is prepared before competition by writing and paper and creating a slideshow.

Before I joined DECA as a junior in high school, I was not able to speak in front of crowds or groups of people. I lacked a leadership mindset and was shy in teamwork settings. Looking back I would've never imagined being the person I am today. Currently, I'm the president of the Western Washington University DECA chapter.

Now, you're are probably thinking, what does this school club have to do with getting a job?

1. This club expanded my networking abilities immensely. DECA's competitions/conferences allow all members to come together and network with one another.

2. When attending DECA competitions/conferences, all students are required to dress in formal business attire. This correlates with the motto "If you look good, you feel good." By dressing in formal business attire, it automatically displays professionalism and grows confidence in yourself which is shown when presenting.

3. Being able to hold an officer position in DECA allows students leadership abilities to thrive. There are many positions in DECA similar to a sustainable business such as President, Vice President, VP of Marketing, VP of Finance, VP of Operations Management, etc.

4. Communication and speaking skills are one of the most important qualities DECA provides. The competition challenges students to use a broader vocabulary, wider knowledge base, and appropriate word choice when in a professional setting.

All of these elements combined allowed me to obtain a job in my chosen field. It takes time and determination to go out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. However, it's worth it in the long run. DECA shaped me into the person I am today, who is now professional, confident, talkative, and is able to take on any task presented to me.

Next time you wonder how to prepare yourself to get a job in the future, think DECA.

Cover Image Credit:

Schantell Hummel

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The Ultimate Disney College Program Bucket List

*Quits college for a semester to work for Walt Disney*

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Less than two months and I'll officially be a Walt Disney World Cast Member!! I'm so excited but super nervous to live alone on the other side of the country. So to keep my mind off of everything I'm going to be missing at home, I came up with a short and to-able Disney College Program bucket list. It's everything I want to do during my program, but it's things that regular people can do on their Disney trip too, so I'm sharing it.

1. Four parks in one day.

Challenge accepted.

2. Take a picture with the Mickey Balloons.

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3. Meet as many characters as you can.

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4. Get as many autographs as you can.

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5. Stay in the parks from open to close.

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6. Visit the parks alone.

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As scary as it may seem, I'm going to try to enjoy the parks alone.

7. Obviously get a picture in front of the castle.

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8. See as many shows/parades as possible.

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Okay so maybe you aren't going to Paris but Disney World in Florida has this too lol.

9. FIREWORKS!!

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10. Character breakfast.

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What better way to start your day than with the most important meal with your favorite characters. But obviously look happier than this little girl.

11. Eat around the world.

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Maybe you'll have a Lady and the Tramp moment.

12. Eat at every restaurant.

Dinner and a show anyone? But maybe not every restaurant, considering Be Our Guest is just one that has like a 4+ month reservation.

13. Ride every ride, no matter what.

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14. Take a picture on Main Street when it's empty.

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15. Find as many hidden mickeys as you can.

16. Take a picture with all the cool walls as backgrounds.

Basic but necessary.

Bonus: Find/meet as many celebrities as you can.

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What I Have And Will Continue To Learn From Working With Kids

I always say that I will learn more from my students than they will from me, and I cannot wait to start that journey.

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I have loved kids ever since I can remember.

I was an only child up until I was 5 years old. Those years were great, but I spent a good amount of them laying on the floor, crying and begging my parents for another sibling.

Soon my sister came, then another sister and then my brother.

I loved them so much and wanted to do nothing but care for them.

My siblings made me realize how much I love working with kids, how much I love teaching them and how much I love learning from them.

I had the opportunity to help my dad coach my sister's softball and basketball teams. This was one of the best experiences I have ever had.

Throughout high school, I spent time volunteering in elementary classrooms, and any "uncertainty" I had about what I wanted to do with my life was gone.

The "uncertainty" was the fact that I maybe wouldn't get paid enough, I wouldn't be good enough or people would think I wasn't smart enough.

But I can learn more from kids than I could ever learn from my professors.

And I'm not saying anything against any profession. But we all have our things.

And mine is kids, mine is teaching.

Children teach me to take life a little less seriously.

They have taught me that you truly never know what other people are going through and we are all going through something.

Children will teach me to keep my patience.

They will keep me young forever.

Children have taught me to never pass judgment and always spread kindness

They will teach me lessons that I can't even imagine right now and things I don't even know.

I always say that I will learn more from my students than they will from me, and I cannot wait to start that journey.

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