8 Million Things I Learned at DECA CLA 150 150 huynhr

8 Million Things I Learned at DECA CLA

By: Blaze Lovell

The Big Apple isn’t just a gathering center for advertisers and media giants. People from various backgrounds around the world come to live, work, and play in New York City. There isn’t a better place to DECA Epic!

1) Take it in!

From Broadway plays to multiple sporting events and venues to the various landmarks spread across the five boroughs, New York City may appeal to anyone’s interests. Besides viewing and visiting all the city has to offer, take advantage of the network opportunities. Every DECA conference provides them, but not in a business metropolis on the scale of New York. Immersing yourself in the culture with other like minded individuals is rewarding experience. When in Rome…

2) Cheap food

What’s a DECA team to do with just 7 minutes left until the next train and no food? Sprint to the nearest Pizza stand! For just $3 ($1 in some places) you can find a pizza slice bigger than your face. Street vendors with $1 hotdogs and kabobs do exist. Look past the chain restaurants and fancy hotel eateries, opting for locally owned delicatessens and vendors.

3) Not everyone is rude

The movies make it look like the entire population of Manhattan is in a rush and disregards basic decency and manners. Yes, people will bump into you and not say sorry, but they are also trying to navigate through an area of 22 square miles with more people than the entire population of Rhode Island. Residents still hold open the door for you and give you directions when you inevitably get lost. People may have different mannerisms in certain cities, but at the core, we’re all the same.

4) Be on DECA Time (sometimes)

Remember that DECA team that got pizza? Well, they missed their train. The next one brought a surprise, however. A flash mob of break dancers astonished the riders on the train bound for the Bronx. This doesn’t mean you should miss important appointments, but in the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Maybe that wasn’t quite 8 million things. If you want to learn more, visit NYC for yourself and see its population of over 8 million. Remember, everyone has something to offer. Every person is an opportunity to learn.

What’s Beyond Collegiate DECA? 960 547 huynhr

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:

  1. Lead
  2. Serve
  3. Advocate


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!

Why Serve? 960 547 huynhr

Why Serve?

By: Randolph Huynh

In Collegiate DECA, serving in the community is more than giving your time. It is also showcasing who you are and what you can do. Many people do not realize this, but the best job offers comes from being involved in the community. Business professionals are constantly watching who they want to hire, and the best way to be out in the view isn’t just at networking events or job fairs but getting involved in community events.

Many of our community partners are related to the business industry and are also well connected in a diverse network that ranges from the medical field to the engineering field. What some students don’t realize is that you must

“Give before you can receive”

The community is always looking for young students who can help grow the community. The majority of UNLV DECA’s community projects are event-based, and at these events, members are challenged with knowing how to:

  • Problem solve
  • Give their 110% effort
  • Stay Focused
  • Make things happen

Many members who serve the community through Collegiate DECA have received internship and job offers. Just spending three to four hours serving and doing the best you can to make an event successful is worth the opportunity to build your professional network.

Help keep the UNLV DECA community informed 960 640 huynhr

Help keep the UNLV DECA community informed

UNLV DECA needs your help to help keep our community informed about all of the wonderful projects and events we’re involved in! This blog serves as a home base for such information and is read by members, alumni and even business professionals.

We’re looking for a variety of interesting content, including event recaps, tips for members and other chapters, leadership lessons and more. Your submissions will also be sent to DECA Direct, our national organization’s official news source. Along with a national audience, this also checks off one of the requirements for the national Passport Program, even if it does not end up getting published!

Guidelines for article submissions are as follows:

  • Members who want to submit DECA Direct articles as part of Passport or Social Media Correspondent programs should contact VP of Marketing to come up with a plan for article topic, content and format.
  • If members interested in completing a program/award that requires article submission do not take initiative to contact VP of Marketing, we will contact you. We may also contact you if we need an article on a particular topic or event and feel you may be a good fit for it.
  • Authors will be guided through coming up with a topic and approach to help improve chances of being published on DECA Direct.
  • If, after being contacted and accepting the assignment & due date, you do not complete by the due date, the topic will be given to another member and original assignee must take initiative to contact VP of Marketing to be assigned another article.
    • If an emergency comes up and you cannot complete your assignment on time, you must contact the VP of Marketing at least 24 hours in advance to be granted an extension.
  • AFTER SUBMISSION: VP of Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator will review & edit for content, grammar and mechanics.
    • If significantly more research and information are needed to improve the article, the author will be contacted and must make edits within 48 hours to guarantee they can keep that assignment.
    • If article can be edited without having to be almost completely rewritten, it will be accepted & sent to DECA Direct and added to the blog if content is suitable.

Any questions should be directed to Bianca Cseke, VP of Marketing, or Blaze Lovell, Public Relations Coordinator.

Prepare to #BeEpic 960 640 huynhr

Prepare to #BeEpic

By Blaze Lovell and Bianca Cseke

With school, work, a social life (does anyone even have those anymore?), and family (unless you left them back home) taking up most of your time, it may be hard to keep track of all those extracurricular activities you took up this semester.

To help you out, here are some tips on our resources that will help you always stay up-to-date with UNLV DECA:

1.) Email. Subscribe to DECA Direct emails to see what DECA is doing nationwide. UNLV DECA’s emails may end up in your spam folder, so if you haven’t seen anything from us in your inbox, the spam folder would be a good place to check. After, add unlvdeca@gmail.com to your contact list and remove the messages from spam so they aren’t deleted. If any email requires a response, please respond promptly. Our team can get very busy, so your speed will help us tremendously.

2.) If you wake up early in the morning, telling yourself you’ll do homework but hop on Facebook instead, then spend that time judiciously and check UNLV DECA’s page for any updates. Like our Facebook page, then go to your preferences by clicking the gear icon on your newsfeed. Go to “Prioritize Who to See First” and find UNLV DECA. This will make it easier for you to see what’s happening in our organization. Then, you can go finish that 10-page aper you procrastinated on.

3.) If you haven’t synced your Google Calendar with our’s yet, be sure to do so. Instructions on how to do that can be found at http://unlvdeca.com/never-miss-an-event-again/.

4.) Read our blog on unlvdeca.com. We’ll post tips, news, and other cool stuff every week to help you #BeEpic. Posts generally will be shared on social media, but head over to our website every Sunday if you want to be the first to be in-the know.

5.) Now that you’re caught up-to-date with all of UNLV DECA’s events, and hopefully caught up on your homework, your last task is to prepare for the unexpected. You’ll never know who you’ll meet or what opportunities will arise. Keep your UNLV DECA shirt clean and your lapel pin ready with a nice set of professional attire thrown in for good measure. You won’t know when it’s time to #BeEpic.

UNLV DECA members attend recording of The Voice 960 540 huynhr

UNLV DECA members attend recording of The Voice

By Bonnie Lei

Members of UNLV DECA were given the opportunity to compete in a Shark Tank-style competition hosted by UNLV DECA. Competitors were tasked with creating a brief marketing plan along with developing a pitch that would secure funds from investors to bring Kona Ice, a shave ice company, onto the UNLV campus. For teams that made it to the finals,the prizes included a $50 prize, an additional $50 for “The People’s Choice Award,” an extra $200 for the first place team, and a trip to attend a recording of The Voice.

Five teams were given one week to create and present their plan to a panel of judges. Of the five teams, three advanced to the final round. During preparation for the final round, the three teams had two days to improve and finalize their presentation and propose their business plan in front of a panel of judges and an audience of high school Nevada DECA members, who chose the recipient of “The People’s Choice Award.”

Andrea DeBrino, Christian Perez, Daniel Yankov Dinev, Olivia Crick, Bonnie Lei, Armandt Lance Sacramento, Rochelle Mae Ruiz, and April Carillo were invited to watch the recording of The Voice on August 11, 2015.

Ruiz, Lei, Sacramento, and DeBrino watched contestants of the Voice in the battle round compete to get into the next round. The contestants sang a song in pairs to battle against each other. One contestant in each pair had to impress their coach, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, Blake Shelton or Adam Levine, enough to move on to the next round. If the contestant was not chosen as the winner of the round, other coaches had the opportunity to steal the contestant. If no coach stole them, the contestant would go home.

In addition to watching the Voice, Ruiz, and Lei spent an extra day exploring Los Angeles, California with Nicholas and Randolph Huynh, UNLV DECA’s vice president of technology and president. Instead of booking a hotel room, they booked a room through Airbnb, a lodging rentals website, for the first time. Through the experience, they learned that hotel rooms are not the only method for living for a day.

The group explored Los Angeles and visited Santa Monica beach for a few hours before driving back to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Never miss an event again 150 150 huynhr

Never miss an event again

By Blaze Lovell

It’s a new year with more opportunities to #BeEpic. UNLV DECA has some great events planned for its members. To stay up to date with that is going on in the organization, you should sync your Google calendar with UNLV DECA’s. Here’s a quick guide on how to do just that:

  1. Log in to your Google account.
  2. Click on the drop down screen in the upper right hand corner and head to calendar.
  3. On the left side, click on “Other Calendars” and type in unlvdeca@gmail.com into the space below and hit Enter. The calendar should automatically sync.
  4. Need to know what’s happening while on the go? Log in to your Google account on your smartphone’s web browser and click on calendar in the drop down menu.
  5. You’ll be taken to a mobile version of the same calendar!
UNLV Students Awarded 1st and 2nd at Utah’s Case Study Competition 500 375 huynhr

UNLV Students Awarded 1st and 2nd at Utah’s Case Study Competition

Case Studies were created and judged by Boostability & Adobe Digital Marketing

Utah Collegiate DECA’s annual Fall Leadership Conference (FLC) is one of the most exciting, intensive, fun, and rewarding experiences for UNLV Collegiate DECA students who decide to attend. The conference is always filled with leadership development workshops, amazing speakers, opportunities to network, and competition.

The 2014 Utah Collegiate DECA FLC began with the Chapter Officer Leadership Academy (COLA) hosted by Angela Dayton, a professional consultant, serial entrepreneur, and public speaker. After an interactive session of leadership exercises, COLA concluded and FLC’s Opening Session began. Opening session featured a talk from Michael Glauser, a Utah State University professor who embarked on a 4,000 mile bicycle journey across the United States to interview and reveal some of America’s top successful small businesses and entrepreneurs During the conference students also heard from Michelle McCullough, managing Director of Startup Princess on her strategies to leverage social media engagement and Spencer Quinn, Student Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Fiber Fix, a Shark Tank success story whose product can be found in over 1,600 locations world-wide including Home Depot and Lowes. “I still remember the first time we were handed $20 from someone and I thought, WHOA! Someone wants to actually buy this!” said Quinn during his presentation. All of the presenters during the conference were found to be a true inspiration to all the future business leaders and entrepreneurs in attendance.

Representatives from Adobe Digital Marketing and Boostability Inc. were invited to present on their companies and judge the competition. These two companies would be featured in the case studies which students who attended had to work on for the remainder of the conference. Adobe Digital Marketing, who surpisingly has dominated the market over companies such as IBM, focused their case study on strategies to increase sales of the Adobe Marketing Cloud through the use of the Adobe Digital Index. Boostability Inc., a leader in search engine optimization and named #254 in the Inc. 500/5000 list that catalogues the fasted growing privately held U.S. companies, asked students to focus on the employee hiring process and increasing their retention rate.

Since students were placed in random teams, the case study competition was more challenging than a typical team competition. Aside from the intensive research and preparation to present, students had to work together with others they have never met. UNLV Collegiate DECA students embraced the challenge and worked tirelessly through the night with their teams to deliver the best presentations possible to present to the company executive the next morning. The hard work paid off when four UNLV students joined their respective teams as first and second place winners of both Adobe’s and Boostability to be awarded on stage. Adobe’s first place winners were also invited to a meeting with their executive team and to tour the facility in Utah. Dara Tinoco, first year UNLV DECA member said, “FLC was an incredible experience for me as a college Freshman, it taught me to be an influential leader, and overall an excellent entrepreneur, now I’m even more excited to pursue my career at Lee Business School.” With most UNLV students in attendance as first time attendees, the conference delivered the excitement and joy of not only competing, but networking and having lots of fun. We hope to continue this tradition every year and cannot wait for the opportunity to attend again in 2015!

The following students participated or were awarded during the conference. Every UNLV student in attendance put forth their strongest effort to put their industry knowledge to the test, grow as leaders, and expand their professional skill set. Please feel free to congratulate them for a job well done if you see them on campus. You can also email unlvdeca@gmail.com to congratulate the members on their success.

Dara Tinoco: Entrepreneurship/Political Science – 2nd Place Adobe Digital Marketing

Celine Endy: Hospitality/Global Entrepreneurship – 1st Place Boostability

Bianca Cseke: Journalism – Participant

Daniel Dinev: Accounting/Global Entrepreneurship – 1st Place Adobe Digital Marketing

Blaze Lovell: Journalism – Participant

Christian Perez: Accounting – Participant

Annie Bellorin: Accounting – 2nd Place Boostability

Rebecca Lychock: Philosophy/Law – Participant

Dyan Baguio: Hospitality/Accounting – Participant

UNLV DECA Shark Tank 960 640 huynhr

UNLV DECA Shark Tank

UNLV Collegiate DECA is hosting its own version of Shark Tank on March 29th and March 30th. The event is free and open to public to attend. 11 teams will be competing in a case study about a mystery company associated with the growth of Downtown Las Vegas. The teams will only have one day to create a presentation focused on securing investments and promoting company growth.

The opening session is on March 29that 12 p.m. in BEH 242. Angel investor Bill Payne and Shark Tank Survivor Jayson Sandberg will be presenting a special keynote session. This is also the time the case company will be announced and the teams will be receiving their case study challenge. The teams will present the next day to a panel of preliminary judges who will decide the 5 teams to advance to the live finals. Preliminary judges are Susan T. Spencer (Executive Director and Host of Not Just Sports), Joe Murphy (Senior Vice President of numerous casinos), and Rey Dos Santos (COO of Rebel Venture Fund and Director of Sales and Business Development of Walls 360).

The closing session on March 30th at 4 p.m. in the Student Union room 208C will feature the live finals round with People’s Choice Award as well as a special presentation from the case study company owners. At this session the top 5 teams will present in front of a live audience and final judges which consists of Felix Daniciu (CEO and Founder of Elmcore Group Inc.), Dominic Marrocco (Millionaire Entrepreneur), and Sophia Liang (CEO of Rebel Venture Fund and Executive Intern for Brennan Capital Partners). In addition to the judges panel, students and public attendees will have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Awards during the final round of the closing session.

Get Pied For Charity 960 639 huynhr

Get Pied For Charity

Who would have thought donating to a charity could end up with an officer’s face full of pie? The spontaneous idea of hosting a coin war did just that. Eight jars were created, each one representing an officer of the UNLV DECA team. Members had the option of adding or subtracting points from officers they wanted to see pied or saved. Out of eight officers, one lucky officer had the honor of being pied at UNLV DECA’s Jeopardy Night.  The proceeds went to a great cause. UNLV DECA paired up with Children’s Miracle Network to help raise funds for children’s hospitals and medical research in their continuing efforts to making children’s lives better and happier.

It was an exciting experience, both watching the member’s debate on which officers they would like to see pied and which officers they chose to save. Knowing their money was going towards a well-known, trustworthy charity such as Children’s Miracle Network was also reassuring. The success of the CMN Coin War was astonishing. Having only planned the Coin War for two days, at two different DECA events, the funds raised were tremendous. More than $170 dollars was raised within those two days for Children’s Miracle Network. In the end, it was the VP of Public Relations, Stephanie Pancho, who was the “unfortunate winner” of the CMN Coin War. But a face full of whip cream is worth it, knowing the proceeds are going to help children who truly deserve it.