Give To What You Love - PLU DECA Club

Imagine you are a student in your second year at PLU in the School of Business. You are still working to truly determine your concentration, as you are starting to narrow your interest and see potential in either Finance or Marketing. You hear about a club called DECA from your faculty member, as well as a few students in your classes. You had heard about DECA in high school but hadn’t participated. However, understand the Collegiate DECA is very different and focused on guest speakers, corporate visits, and the potential for competition.

A few months in, you hear about an opportunity to participate in a competition via DECA. The competition will allow you to challenge yourself in ways you have not yet experienced. You learn that you will have a case scenario that will be sent to you, and you will have to complete case questions before the competition. Then, industry experts will serve as judges and ask you about the case, perhaps revisiting your initial thoughts as well as asking other questions. You are a bit nervous because you are not the most confident in your public speaking, and these are industry experts.

You travel with your DECA competition team to Spokane for the statewide competition. You see hundreds of other students walking around and also preparing. They look serious. Your advisor, a School of Business faculty member, checks in with you. You share your concerns. You do not want to let your team, or your family down. You think these other students are more experienced and more knowledgeable than you.

Your coach has a heart-to-heart with you, telling you how proud of you they are for stepping out into the unknown to compete in this way. The coach suggests that you have no idea how smart or experienced your competitors are, and in reality that it does not matter. The coach says that you are there to be the best version of yourself that you can be. You think about working on all of the things that seem scary, such as introducing yourself to the panel of judges, learning to be calm, taking a brief pause after the question and then sharing your ideas, remembering to smile when you speak, and talking slowly and clearly. You make a mental note to thank the judges for their time at the end and shake their hand with a smile.

You decide that you will be the version of yourself that seeks to grow through this experience. The advisor shares that what sets competitors apart is their focused preparation, and willingness to walk amidst the unknown as the best version of themselves. You spend the rest of the evening preparing and envisioning your time with the judges and the goals you have for yourself.

After the welcome session, you head to room 017 on the hotel’s ground floor. Two people are in front of you. The butterflies return as you are the next in line for your private time with the industry experts. You remember your goals, the conversation with your advisor, and your preparation. You take some deep breaths, the door opens, and you hear your name called…

In the School of Business, the DECA program is the overarching club for all of the disciplines. The opportunity to connect, learn, and challenge oneself through competition provides a very unique opportunity for academic and personal growth. As noted above, there are lots of butterflies, and those are overcome through coaching and preparation.

Take a moment to learn a bit more about DECA, the opportunity for growth, and how Brian did in his competition via this short video.

Your gift to the School of Business Dean’s Fund helps us provide transformative experiences like the DECA program and state/international competitions for our students.

Thanks to a generous match by the School of Business Executive Advisory Board, your gift may be doubled to provide 2x the impact!

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