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DECA Students Prepare for Competition

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Olympians aren't the only people competing for a gold medal. Business students at the University of Mary are hoping to bring home the gold this weekend.

Business students from the University of Mary are preparing for the State Collegiate DECA Conference. Eleven students will put their presentation skills to the test in one of 24 competitive events.

"I am competing with Wesley in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing case study. And then, I'm also doing, by myself, a business simulation in Travel and Tourism," says Alex Borchardt, DECA member.

Collegiate DECA programs and competitions are clustered around six academic areas.

"We cover a wide gamut of business. We have management. We have marketing. We have entrepreneurship. And, it just creates a professional environment for them, a very safe and sanitized environment for them to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes and take that lesson that they've learned out into the workforce," says Karel Sovak, DECA Advisor.

Competitive events are broken down into three categories: Business Simulations, Case Studies and Prepared Events.

"I'm doing professional sales. So, the project I'm doing is called the magic coloring page. That's what I'm going to be selling to the judges. Because it's a prepared I have as much time and preparation as I want to bring into it," says Katrina Gallic, DECA member.

Students who qualify at the state level are eligible to compete in the International Career and Development Conference. This year, the conference will be held in Washington, D.C.

"In our eight years, we've had six first place finishers, five second place finishers, and two third place finishers. So, we do really well," says Sovak.

But Sovak says it's not all work and no play. The DECA Chapter has been to Anaheim, Orlando, and Atlanta, to name a few. They've explored cities, visited theme parks and relaxed at the beach. And now, they have the opportunity to visit the nation's capitol.

"Food! For sure. To be able to have the east coast food. I'm from the east coast, so I have a special place in my heart for it," says Gallic.

Competition begins on Sunday. Sovak says Collegiate DECA helps students develop critical thinking and communications skills.

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