What’s Beyond Collegiate DECA?
By: Randolph Huynh
Many college students who join Collegiate DECA (especially former DECA members from the high school division) believe that DECA is about competing in business competitive events. Competing is an amazing experience and being able to achieve “International Finalist” or “International Champion” is an honor that many DECA students, both in high school and and in the collegiate division, yearn to achieve. However, that is only a small part of being a Collegiate DECA member.
The main goal of being involved in Collegiate DECA is to build 21st century skills that can be applied to any industry you are, or want to be, involved with.
An article by the huffington post noted that 45 percent of college graduates aren’t working in jobs that fits with their bachelor degrees. So why are college graduates not getting the jobs they’re majoring in? The Washington Post noted three skills that are lacking from college graduates.
- Lack of problem solving
- Lack of decision making skills
- Lack of basic talking skills
A good habit that Collegiate DECA members learn is to be on “DECA time”, which means arriving 15 minutes early. It’s a standard practice that impresses many people because being on time means you’re late. In UNLV DECA, you will definitely learn business skills that are essential to being a standout for any industry.
The workforce is becoming very competitive, especially in the Hospitality and Business industry. So how can Collegiate DECA make you become a standout?
Collegiate DECA’s core focus is: Competence, Integrity, Innovation, and Teamwork. Students who are involved in Collegiate DECA member will build essential skills from three areas:
The best way to learn how to be a leader is to simply just do it. One way to gain leadership experience at UNLV DECA is to join a committee. Every year, UNLV DECA officers are responsible for creating an action plan for different projects that will be executed by committees. What’s shocking to many people about UNLV DECA’s committees is that we start from the ground up. With a budget of $0, members in the committees learn how we can run a project that costs over $3,000. Members who are involved with committees will learn how to:
- Find different resources and reach out to the community to fund the project
- Collaborate with a diverse student group
- Be accountable
- Be able to adapt and figure out solutions to unexpected challenges
Members who are involved with committees will have an easier time learning how to collaborate and work in teams.
Serving is a major part of the learning experience that UNLV DECA provides. In order to lead, you must first learn to serve.
On the national level, DECA is over 70 years old. It is the responsibility of its members to ensure that its legacy carries on for years more. Whenever you wear the DECA pin or wear the DECA shirt, you ARE DECA. Members are given opportunities to attend various community events and networking. At these events member learn how to:
- Network with business professionals
- Present their image
- Build business relationships
Being active in Collegiate DECA leads to building these essential, 21st century business skills that can be applied to any industry. Having these skills also makes you a standout. If you want to know what is the end product of being a Collegiate DECA member, take a look at some of our distinguished UNLV DECA members.
Dyan Baguio – Went through the selective MGM International Internship Program and was offered a position at MGM International.
Nicholas Huynh – Accepted four job offers with different businesses without showing a resume.
Daniel Dinev – Became the first Nevada Collegiate DECA ICDC champion.
These are just some of the members who received unique experiences and opportunities through UNLV DECA. Now it’s your time to see what kind of journey you will have in the world of Collegiate DECA!