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Bethel Collegiate DECA Team Excels at State Competition

Bethel Collegiate DECA Team Excels at State Competition

Business and economics students excel during the DECA state competition in February.

In February, seven of Bethel’s Business and Economics students participated in the State Collegiate DECA Career Development Conference. This is the second year Bethel has taken part in a DECA-Distributive Education Clubs of America-chapter, and the success is growing along with the students. “We are the only Collegiate DECA chapter hosted by a private 4-year university in Minnesota,” DECA coach and Business and Economics Professor Chris Kaiser says, “so I see it as a way to differentiate ourselves and add value to the Department of Business and Economics, and Bethel University.”

DECA is an international competition, both on the high school and collegiate levels, related to five separate fields in the business world: Business Management and Administration, Marketing and Communications, Finance and Accounting, Hospitality and Tourism, and Entrepreneurship. Students compete in specific events in different ways, whether that be giving a presentation or collaborating with one’s peers. They are judged accordingly and receive feedback as well as an opportunity to interact with those already established in the related field.

Last year, three Bethel students participated in the state competition, with one student moving on to the international competition. This year, seven business and economics students competed against 300 students across 12 schools in the State Conference, and now five will attend the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Washington, D.C., on April 10-15. Among those five is Danielle Rosen ’18, who received second place in the Organizational Leadership category. She’s completing her Leadership minor this spring and was eager for the experience along with the opportunity to meet professionals in the field.

“One of the best parts of DECA competitions are the connections you build with professionals who so willingly give back time to help you develop your skills,” Rosen says. “I was judged by the CIO of a business headquartered in Minneapolis, who reached out afterwards and offered to coach me as I continue to develop in the area of organizational leadership.” 

Kaiser also emphasizes the possibility of connection through this competition. “In addition to competition, [ICDC] also includes networking on an international level, opportunities for professional development through topic-related academies, and the opportunity to connect with potential employers and sponsoring businesses,” Kaiser says. She is proud of her students and wants to give them the resources to achieve their career goals.

Rosen’s favorite aspect of the event is “the culture of eagerness and intense learning. Being able to participate in that is such a blessing, especially with Bethel classmates by my side.”