The following blog is written by Ryan McDonald, a student at Globe University-Moorhead. This blog shares his experience of the National DECA Comptetition.
It was a long day of traveling when I landed in Washington, DC. We had gone from Fargo, North Dakota to Minneapolis to Washington, DC, and I was exhausted. Jet lag is real, and it never felt better to lie in my bed at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown DC.
A group of six students from Globe University-Moorhead came to compete and learn alongside some of our nation’s best business students and business leaders. This was my first time in our nation’s capital, and I was excited, to say the least.
I was there to present a business plan for an internet marketing agency based in Fargo, North Dakota, as part of our DECA team. What I was most excited about was the chance to learn from successful entrepreneurs. There were several seminars and networking opportunities to engage with these successful business people. Additionally, everyone on our team was competing in various professional Development Academies.
I attended a seminar of the founder of Two Men and a Truck. From Mary Ellen Sheets, I learned a lot about the franchising model of business. It made me think about several factors when considering a franchise. A very educational and very practical seminar.
While networking with other students who attended the Collegiate DECA event, one of them bemoaned about the lack of practical skills taught in school. He was a marketing major and was in a class about social media. He was frustrated that the class was covering the history of social media and not real life application of the platform from a marketing prospective.
Anyone can do a quick Google Search and learn about the history of social media (something you’ll never need to know) but few businesses use the platform properly. It got me thinking about practical skills, and the Collegiate DECA event is one of those opportunities where students are able to learn practical skills outside the classroom.
DECA is an organization I’m passionate about because it teaches students to network, how to present an idea and think critically about the industry they’re in. Although I didn’t take home any prizes for presenting my business plan, I am richer for the experience.