DECA is a nonprofit student organization with more than 215,000 members across the U.S., dedicated to preparing future leaders and entrepreneurs for a range of business careers. Their educational activities generally fall in the following four areas:
- Marketing and communications
- Business management and administration
- Hospitality and tourism
- Finance and accounting
DECA collegiate chapters offer exciting networking and travel opportunities, teambuilding exercises, and regional and international competitions where students get to apply classroom knowledge to real-world business problems. A sample event offered on DECA’s website gives this example of a competitive marketing challenge in the hospitality and tourism cluster:
“The CEO of Top Stay Properties [a hypothetical moderately priced hotel chain with properties across the country] has asked you to create activities, programs and
menus marketed toward pre-teens and teenagers with a goal of building brand loyalty.” Your task is to present your plan and ideas in a one-on-one role-play with the CEO.
The William Woods DECA team competes regularly in a number of regional and national competitions where students pursuing undergraduate business degrees participate in similar challenges. Led by Assistant Professor of Marketing and Business, Dr. Linda Duke, William Woods students recently won second place in three categories at the regional DECA competition. Among the winners were Tori Brandt who won in the Entrepreneurship category; Taylor Finkel in Hotel and Lodging Management category; and Paxton Hemkens, Rachel Skelton and Kierra Robinson in Advertising category.
In addition to the above-mentioned winners, the popularity of DECA has attracted a number of notable William Woods students, including many among President’s Twenty — an honorary service society whose student members act as liaisons between the university president and the student body. For example, more than a third of current President’s Twenty members are involved with DECA. Among them are Baylie Borman ‘18, Adelaide Reddish ‘17, Matthew Underwood ‘18 and Alyssa Wedell ‘16.
To learn how you can get involved with DECA, talk to the William Woods chapter advisor, Dr. Linda Duke, Burton 210, Linda.Duke@Williamwoods.edu.