DECA Dominates Disney

UND DECA students with awards

In February 2019, UND DECA competed in Fargo, ND for a chance to advance to the International Career Development (ICDC) in Orlando, FL. 16 UND DECA members qualified and made their way to Florida for ICDC April 12-16th. The conference was filled with networking, seminars, and intense competition.

The first day of the conference, students had the chance to hear from business executives about a variety of topics. Executives from Orlando Magic, Marriot International, Universal Orlando Resort, NAPA, Hilton, American Management Association, and Nonnahs Marketing presented at the conference. Some of the topics discussed included the importance of utilizing social media, attracting and recruiting employees digitally, enhancing the customer experience, changes in the hospitality industry, and how to start a business.

The second day UND DECA students had the first round of their competitive event. Students competing in an individual case study, team case study, or institute event. Those competing in case study events were placed in a category of choice such as marketing, managerial accounting, hotel and management, financial statement analysis, business ethics, and more. Students were then given a case to analyze and had 30 (individual) to 60 (team) minutes to prepare a resolution or ideas to implement. They then had 15 minutes to present their findings and innovative ideas to a few judges.

UND DECA did exceptionally well after the initial round with nine out of sixteen students advancing to finals. Those nine students then competed with a different case study the following day. In the end, UND had two students place in first place (Josh Christner and Zoe Kulzer, one second place (Mikayla Odette), and two third place awards (Svea Olson and Sarah Erickson)

DECA members also got the chance to have some fun in the sun, dine at fun restaurants, and explore some of the magical Disney parks! When not competing or attending seminars, students got to relax in the 80-degree weather at the hotel’s pool. The hotel was also walking distance from Disney springs where members got to do a little shopping and had a chapter dinner. Thanks to DECA discounts, some students got to explore Universal Studios or Magic Kingdom for part of a day!

– By Sophia Priem