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A LEADER’S STORY
WHY YOUR BRAND MATTERS
TABLE OF CONTENTS EDITORIAL
Publisher Lou DiGioia, CAE Managing Editor Hayley Petty Advertising Cindy Allen, Megan Balkovic Design Shawna Hession, Frank Peterson
DECA EXECUTIVE OFFICERS President Andrew Weatherman North Atlantic Region Vice President Rachel Lynch Central Region Vice President Nick Matthews Southern Region Vice President Dylan Heneghan Western Region Vice President Jonathan Wilson
COLLEGIATE EXECUTIVE OFFICERS President Ryan Bognar Vice President Allison Brown Vice President Jack Evans Vice President Andy Stebbins Vice President Dennis Williams
5 TIPS FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ON LINKEDIN
GROWING A GLOBAL BRAND: AN INSIDE LOOK AT UNIVERSAL
WHERE CAN DECA TAKE YOU?
President Jacklyn Schiller President-Elect Curtis Haley Secretary Dave Wait Treasurer Olga Plagianakos Members Shannon Aaron, Ginger Hill, Mary Peres, John Stiles National Advisory Board Chair M. Andy Chaves Ex-Officio Members Lou DiGioia, CAE, Richard Faulkner
EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE DECA Direct Magazine 1908 Association Drive Reston, Virginia 20191-1594 firstname.lastname@example.org
DECA Direct (ISSN 1080-0476) is published four times each year—September/ October, November/December, January/ February and March/April. Copyright ©2018 by the Distributive Education Clubs of America, Inc., 1908 Association Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191-1594. All rights reserved. Annual non-member subscription rate is $5.00. Periodicals postage paid at Herndon, Virginia and additional mailing offices. $1.00 of membership fee goes toward subscription to DECA Direct, a publication of DECA, (USPS 566-200), Volume 7, Number 2. Postmaster—Send form 3579 for change of address to: DECA Direct, 1908 Association Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191-1594.
ULTIMATE WRITTEN EVENT GUIDE: PART 2
A PEEK INSIDE: JORDAN’S COOKIES
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER | 2018
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
This issue of DECA Direct includes instructional content focused on the following performance indicators from National Curriculum Standards: •
Distinguish between using social media for business and personal purposes
Reinforce company’s image to exhibit the company’s brand promise.
Identify factors affecting customer-service practices in hospitality and tourism
Explain the nature of corporate branding
Explain the nature of product/service branding
Determine prospect’s buying motives
442 DECA national, state and chapter officers have enrolled at JWU In the last six years
J W U. E DU/NSO 2
A LEADER’S STORY ANDREW WEATHERMAN HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION PRESIDENT @DECA_Andrew
DECA Executive Southern Region Vice President
Honorary Life Membership Award Candidate Nomination due Outstanding Service Award Candidate Nomination due
Virtual Business Challenge Round 1 ends
DECA Idea Challenge begins
DECA Idea Challenge entries due
New York Experience I New York City, NY ACTE CareerTech VISION San Antonio, TX
Community Service Campaign due Global Entrepreneurship Week Campaign due
Global Entrepreneurship Week
Honorary Life Membership Award application packet due
Membership Campaign due
Initial online membership dues deadline
Outstanding Service Award application packet due
Promotional Campaign due
Western Region Leadership Conference Anaheim, CA
Central Region Leadership Conference Detroit, MI Innovations and Entrepreneurship Conference Baltimore, MD The Ultimate DECA Power Trip Baltimore, MD
New York Experience II New York City, NY
North Carolina DECA Metrolina Region Vice President NC State University Valedictorian On paper, Amar Hodzic’s achievements are certainly impressive, but his remarkable story, beginning in a war-torn country nearly 5,000 miles away from North Carolina, makes his journey truly inspiring. Amar and I first met during the 2017 DECA International Career Development Conference in Anaheim. He knew that I was thinking about running for Executive President in Atlanta, and throughout the next year, we stayed in contact. When Amar agreed to be my campaign manager, I was bursting with excitement and confidence. His assistance was invaluable and an integral key to my success. Sure, Amar has a loaded résumé, but his eagerness to lend a helping hand far eclipses any of his accomplishments. Advisor Kim Edwards says it best, “He made all other DECA members feel like they could achieve whatever goal they set. He was and still is a person everyone wants to be friends with.” I had the opportunity to sit down with Amar for an interview about his miraculous journey and his success in DECA and college. Turn to page 17 to learn more about who Amar Hodzic truly is.
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER | 2018
More often than not, a person’s résumé doesn’t tell the whole story. There are details and experiences that made them the person they are and put them on the path to their accomplishments.
Stock Market Game ends
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WHY YOUR BRAND MATTERS COLLEGIATE DECA PRESIDENT @cdecapresryan
Honorary Life Membership Award Candidate Nomination due Outstanding Service Award Candidate Nomination due
ACTE CareerTech VISION San Antonio, TX
Stock Market Game ends—Round 1
Membership Campaign Goal—25 or more submitted
ENGAGE, New York City, NY
DECA Idea Challenge begins
Global Entrepreneurship Week
Initial online membership dues Membership Campaign Goal—online membership system submissions
Honorary Life Membership Award due Outstanding Service Award Application Packet due
Personal branding is crucial in today’s world. Having a personal brand is important because it shows who you are and conveys your worth to potential employers and companies. There are several ways to convey your personal brand with your particular audience, including: social media, blogging, vlogging, etc. Personal branding is not just about your message, but also how you deliver that message. If employers believe you have a strong personal brand, they will be more likely to hire you, or better yet, it can help you launch your own business! Many successful people have strong personal brands that help reflect their business and generate profit. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk’s personal brand is associated with digital media and social media influence, so every book he publishes about, the topic quickly becomes a New York Times Best Seller because it reflects his personal brand. Having a personal brand is very important, and I encourage you to seek ways to either develop or improve your personal brand to help you gain the job of your dreams. If you don’t know what your personal brand is, do some research on personal branding online and look into successful people that you admire to determine their personal brand. You can also read books and online blogs about personal branding if you need extra assistance. Whether you’re headed for a career in a trade industry or in the corporate world, developing a strong personal brand will not only benefit you, but your career as well. Think about what your personal brand is and continue to share your message.
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER | 2018
DECA Idea Challenge entries due
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1. FIND YOUR PLACE The first step to building your brand is establishing what you want to come out of your social media accounts. Maybe your goal is to build a network of professionals, or just to update your family and friends about your life. Whatever it may be, you need to create a clear goal so your content can follow.
2. FIND YOUR VOICE When posting on social media, you are crafting an image of who you are. It's really important that you are as authentic as possible, while also showcasing content that will help you be successful in reaching your end goal.
3. BE REAL We all love to see how many likes our instagram photo can get, but posting on social media just to post won’t help. You have to
be as authentic as possible and ensure the people that follow you are interested in what you do. Create interesting content that your followers will want to engage with.
4. BE CONSISTENT The golden rule in social media is consistency. You’re crafting a story, and the best way to tell that story is through consistency. Whether thats committing to a certain color scheme on Instagram or tweeting at least once a day, you need to ensure that your followers can expect something from you.
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER | 2018
Social media drives so many aspects of our lives. At first, social media was just a tool to stay connected to friends or keep up with the latest news. Now, it is our entertainment hub, event planning tool, education aid, and more. Most importantly, it’s now our public image, our brand. Here are the top tips and tricks to ensure that you are building a strong brand for yourself online.
5. HAVE FUN No one wants to see boring content! You don’t need to travel the world to be interesting, so just have some fun with the content you are creating. (Hint: You do a lot with DECA, so post some #DECAEpic photos.) JACK EVANS, Vice President, Collegiate Division
5 TIPS FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ON LINKEDIN 8
WHEN IT COMES TO LINKEDIN,
high school students are likely to start asking some questions: Is it too early to start? I’m not working/I’m not a professional, so what’s the point of a LinkedIn? But students born post-2000 know better than anyone that we live in a society that craves social media. Many markets are heavily driven by social media, and we’re the ones who truly get the first opportunity to take our knowledge and apply it to career searching. A lot of adults will tell you how much they wish they had been in a position like we are today, yet many of us are completely unaware of the type of potential LinkedIn has to change our future. Here are five tips to hone your LinkedIn personal brand to be the best it can possibly be.
Many of us are completely unaware of the type of potential LinkedIn has to change our future.
1. START EARLY
2. HAVE AN “ALL-STAR” PROFILE You need a 100% completed profile. No exceptions. According to LinkedIn, people that have a completed profile are 40 times more likely to be found than people that don’t. And get this: out of the 400 million members on LinkedIn, only 50% have a completed profile. Take it upon yourself to make sure everything is filled in, because at the end of the day, LinkedIn is essentially a search engine for recruiters. LinkedIn categorizes search results for recruiters by the level of completeness of candidate profiles. Don’t be in that 50% with incomplete profiles. LinkedIn will guide you, step-by-step in completing your account, so get to it!
3. PICTURE QUALITY I cannot stress enough the importance of an awesome profile picture on LinkedIn. Whether it’s a portrait with a blurry background or a headshot with a solid color backdrop, a photo that includes just you looking at the camera with good lighting is really important. You can smile, straight-face it, whatever best represents you as a person and will catch the eye of a recruiter. No professional headshot? No problem. Put on a professional shirt, find a solid background and a friend with portrait mode. Time to put those Instagram skills to work.
4. THE SUMMARY Yes, this is the daunting big white space where you can write whatever you want. You want to know what you need to do here? Sell yourself. You want to write a compelling summary so that people who came across your profile will say, “I need this candidate!” Main tip here: you don’t necessarily want dense paragraphs. Many people go through LinkedIn on their phones, so make sure your description is “mobile friendly.”
5. YOUR CONNECTIONS What’s more important–quality or quantity? Depends on the situation, right? Well in this situation, both are crucial. For the quantity of your connections, a lot of recruiters will say it’s frowned upon to have fewer than 500 connections. However, as students, you can get away with not having this many, especially when recruiters are looking for interns. But just imagine a recruiter clicking through candidates and coming across an impressive young person with 500 connections. WOAH! Definitely a way to stand out. It’s important to pay attention to the quality of your connections, not just quantity. As stated in Tip #2, LinkedIn is a search engine, so having numerous connections from a company that you are really interested in working for is definitely a plus. Let’s say for example, a recruiter from Google finds your profile. If they see you have 10, 20, maybe even 50 connections with employees at Google, that’s going to put them at ease and give them enough confidence to reach out to you. If used correctly, LinkedIn can completely change your career trajectory. It allows you to flip the traditional model of applying and “hoping” a company is going to call you back. If your profile is what it has the potential to be, you could have recruiters coming to you. So make sure you update your résumé and transfer the information over to LinkedIn. It’s time the millenials get involved in the career searching process. Happy @DECAINC connecting!
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER | 2018
What’s the main purpose for students to jump on early? Creating a strong LinkedIn profile allows you to build relationships with companies in fields in which you may be interested. It doesn’t matter what career you want to go into. Having a compelling LinkedIn account puts you one step ahead of the vast majority of your competition, no matter your age, your background, etc. Start following companies and connecting with people who work within those companies. It’s easy to see why this will help drastically when you move past the next threshold in your life.
NICK MATTHEWS, Central Region Vice President
rends come and go, but some brands are strong enough to stand the test of time. We surveyed 300 DECA members across the globe, asking them to name their favorite brands. From snack foods to streaming services, clothing to technology – Battle of the Brands aimed to find out where your allegiances lie.
a company that focuses on their customers and has strong values.
Every successful brand must first get to know their customer base. Marketing executives and CEOs are dying to learn more about one particular segment of their customer base: YOU. Most CMOs and CEOs likely never thought they would be looking to teenagers for advice on their brand or how to create a relevant, dynamic and lasting relationship with their brand. But, if that is their audience, then they need to understand how their brains work. Once companies are able to understand how their brains work, then they can begin general marketing and branding practices.
“I love Starbucks so much because they are based out of my home state of Washington. In addition they have a very ethical business practice and are never short with great customer service. The daily coffee fix is pretty great as well!” - Andre (John R. Rogers DECA)
So beyond the numbers, we asked why. Why do some brands reign supreme among the DECA demographic?
“Instagram allows connectivity like no other, through the use of visual aids and captions users are able to create art or help spread awareness of a cause. The explore page enables people to view posts they might be interested in and discover and network with other individuals.” - Amber (Perry High School DECA)
When it comes to CLOTHING – trends matter to some, but comfort and brand trust are more important. “I’ve always liked Nike. Even though I thought their last Just Do It campaign was not the smartest it will not stop me from getting Nike. They release the most comfortable clothing.” - Jonathan (Kent Roosevelt DECA) “American Eagle’s clothing is both trendy and comfortable which is why it’s my favorite!” - Addison (Portland HS DECA) Similar trends can be seen where FOOD is concerned. DECA members noted that they are willing to spend a little more for 10
“[Chick-fil-A’s] service and food are unmatched. Everybody is so nice there and their food is high quality, fairly healthy and cheap, and very tasty.” - Mattie (Waverly-Shell Rock)
It’s no secret that SOCIAL MEDIA is a big part of life for high school and college students. When asked about preferred platforms, though, ease of use was a big factor for many DECA members. The other major consideration? Once again, trust.
“Snapchat allows users to be as public or as private as they want, giving people options to post where all of their friends can see it or to simply send a selfie to their bestie.” - Addison (Portland High School DECA) “I deleted twitter and Snapchat because I needed to waste less time, Instagram is great. Facebook can be dangerous with all the political ad drama and uncertainty with privacy settings.” - Blake (Southeast Missouri State University)
MUSIC STREAMING Spotify
Apple / itunes
TV / VIDEO
SNACK FOOD Oreos
Ben & Jerrys
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER | 2018
GROWING A GLOBAL BRAND:
AN INSIDE LOOK AT UNIVERSAL
niversal Orlando Resort™ is known around the globe as an epic, world-class vacation destination. But that didn’t happen overnight. Growing our brand meant creating experiences that allow our guests to let loose, connect with friends and family, and immerse themselves in some of the most beloved stories of our time. It took frequent visits from loyal fans to experience our state-of the-art attractions, Universal Orlando™ hotels, unique dining locations, and awesome entertainment offerings. And, over time, our brand was established. A brand is a perception or emotion an individual holds about their experience related to an organization or consuming its products or services. So, it’s our job to make sure we understand our guests and deliver experiences that foster brand loyalty and love.
Although building a brand takes time, it’s an essential foundation for creating successful marketing strategies. Marketers have a formula for building a brand – you have to understand your audience. You need to understand what motivates them, and you need to create positioning that appeals to that motivation – in a differentiated way from your competitors. And, when all is said and done, you need to be consistent and true to that positioning. Each marketing tactic should always take into account the brand essence of a company, keeping it the heart of the piece to maintain consistent messaging and add value to products and services. Therefore, whether it’s creating collateral, copy, videos, or social media posts, everything should always be rooted in the same voice.
Growing our brand meant creating experiences that allow our guests to let loose, connect with friends and family, and immerse themselves in some of the most beloved stories of our time.
Not only is consumer branding important to the longevity and success of a company, but your own personal brand has the power to differentiate you from your peers, and can impact your success. Whether you realize it or not, everyone has their own personal brand rooted in the way they carry themselves,
communicate with others, and through the relationships they’ve built (or destroyed) – your brand is what others say about you when you’re not in the room. Your personal brand can influence the likelihood of getting elected as the next class president or landing an interview for your dream career. It’s important to establish your own personal brand and allow it to evolve over time – whether it’s through your social media platforms or resume, always make sure you’re being honest and authentic. At Universal Orlando™ we’ve developed programs that target areas to help you grow your personal brand. Our Business Learning Series education programs, inspired by Marcus Lemonis from CNBC’s The Profit, have modules that focus on Career Exploration & Preparation and Leadership Skills & Personal Development where we delve deeper into the important traits and behaviors individuals should possess to prepare for a successful future. Whether we’re looking at the importance of your volunteer work or the impact your social media has on your life, our Business Learning Series can provide practical tools you can use to positively influence your school or work environment, and ultimately impact your personal brand. We’re always learning more and more about our guests, but we want to share learning opportunities with our guests, too! With a theme park at our fingertips, it’s vital that we use our immersive learning environment as a resource to share this wealth of knowledge with classrooms across the nation through our Universal Orlando™ Youth Programs.
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER | 2018
That’s just a sneak peek of some of the content we cover in our newest education program, Marketing is Universal: Keeping the Guest at Heart – created in partnership with DECA. This program dives into the marketing strategies we use at Universal Orlando™. From understanding the role of research and data, to discussing the importance of guest engagement, students are exposed to the process with real-world examples of our marketing campaigns.
Study in New York
Up to full-tuition scholarships available* “I knew Berkeley was a great school because many of the professors actually had experience within their fields. I’ve learned to communicate effectively and be more confident. The DECA scholarship made coming to Berkeley possible and I am grateful for the opportunity.” Anabelle Rodriguez DECA Scholarship
Apply Today: • Download and complete the DECA Participation Scholarship Application (BerkeleyCollege.edu/DECA). • Incoming full-time students who are enrolled in a degree program and have participated in DECA in high school may be eligible for up to a full-tuition scholarship.* • Scholarships are renewable yearly based on GPA and full-time, continuous, consecutive full-time enrollment.
Find us @BerkeleyCollege • #BerkeleyCollege
For more information, call 800-446-5400 ext. GDF or email info@BerkeleyCollege.edu
Programs offered in New York, New Jersey, and Online Schedule an in-person visit, or arrange an online virtual tour with an Admissions Associate Berkeley College reserves the right to add, discontinue, or modify its programs and policies at any time. Modifications subsequent to the original publication of this document may not be reflected here. For the most up-to-date information, please visit BerkeleyCollege.edu. For more information about Berkeley College graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed programs, and other important disclosures, please visit BerkeleyCollege.edu/disclosures. *Cannot be combined with any other Berkeley College grants or scholarships. Award amounts applied after all other federal and state grants and scholarships are calculated, and will not exceed the remaining cost of tuition and fees. Cost of books and supplies not included.
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER | 2018
efore we reach a rapid rise to DECA Executive Office, we start with a small European country nestled in the Balkan Peninsula and in the midst of war. Amar Hodzic was born in the Bosnian city of Zenica, a town – rich in history – overshadowed by grand mountains and imposing fortresses. But those fortresses, signifying armed struggles in ancient times, personified the events of Bosnia during Amar’s upbringing. For nearly half-a-decade, Bosnia was the center of an international conflict, the Bosnian War, with Zenica suffering causalities of their own. Desiring the best possible childhood for their son, Amar’s parents chose to seek refuge in the United States. Bouncing from New Jersey to Illinois to Michigan, the family finally settled in Charlotte, North Carolina. The constant moving embedded the development of an independent drive that would dominate Amar’s childhood; he kept to himself and desired to grow and learn autonomously. But when his marketing teacher at Providence High School, Kim Edwards, noticed his work ethic in her class, she urged Amar to join DECA. Once a member of DECA, Amar began to collaborate with fellow members, slowly breaking free from his self-reliant nature. To an outsider, though, this may seem like a contradiction: How does a person who enjoys independence pursue leadership, a role which requires so much collaboration? “Everyone comes from a different background with a different perspective and lens; there’s no way to grow as a leader without learning from others and incorporating new and fresh ideas,” Amar justifies. “Think of it this way – the more people you interact with and the more perspectives you gain, the better equipped you are to make decisions and lead in a world where diversity is growing in importance.” In three short years, Amar ascended upwards in leadership roles, serving as Providence DECA’s President, the North Carolina DECA Metrolina Region Vice President, and finally DECA’s Southern Region Vice President. “She noticed my leadership potential and encouraged me to take leadership of the chapter, then run for North Carolina association office, and then - the unthinkable! - Southern Region VP,” he says of Ms. Edwards’ insistence on him pursuing DECA leadership opportunities. “I had always talked to her about how impressive the student leaders in DECA were, and she expressed to me that she believed I had those traits and capabilities too: it was just a matter of acting.”
This organization has given a lot to me, and without the mentors that I have encountered along the way, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he says of his decision to remain involved with DECA and helping other emerging leaders. “I want to be a resource and continue to share my experiences with members.” His election stands as one of life’s greatest moments. “Sitting in the nosebleeds of the Georgia Dome for closing session, I remember thinking through all of the hard work and accomplishments of my campaign and team,” reminiscing on his own election night. “My heart began to race as they started to announce the new Executive Officer Team. When it came time to announce the Southern Region VP, I remember closing my eyes, and the loud cheering seemed to go mute until I heard my name. My election will be something that I will never forget for the rest of my life.” During Amar’s year of office, he traveled the country, speaking at conferences and facilitating workshops. And although the excitement of networking with members is one of the greatest perks of office, that joy paled in comparison to the 2015 ICDC in Orlando, Florida. “The feeling is absolutely indescribable,” smiling as he recounted over 18,000 packing the Orange County Convention Center. “The energy is just unreal. Looking out at all of the excitement (and light-up props), you really piece together what this organization is all about. I distinctly remember getting up there after a very long day of ICDC prep, rehearsals, and events and immediately getting hit with a wave of adrenaline. It's that electrifying!” Amar’s year of service coincided with his freshman year of college at NC State University...another experience he excelled at, graduating in 2018 with a 4.0 GPA. “The confidence and business knowledge that I've gained from DECA's competitive events and leadership positions have better prepared me for college than any other aspect of high school,” recounting
his recent college years. “Because of DECA, I felt comfortable contributing in classes and breaking out of my comfort zone to meet others.” So, as a DECA member, you should feel confident that DECA has prepared you exceptionally well.” But when it comes to success, Amar’s legacy doesn’t stop at executive office or the completion of his undergraduate degree. Immediately following graduation, Amar was offered full-time employment as a Market Intelligence Specialist at Cisco, Inc., the largest networking company in the world with a market cap of nearly $200B, and it all stemmed from a summer internship. “Take advantage of internship opportunities; I can’t stress that enough,” Amar preaches. “Internships are an incredible way to learn what your interests are outside of a school setting. And don't discredit an internship opportunity even if it's not your dream company. There is a lot to learn from different types of internships and having a wide range of experience with companies of different sizes and industries.” “I credit DECA for giving me an advantage with landing internship opportunities,” Amar says. “You will soon realize that your experiences with DECA are impressive to employers, and it really does put you ahead of the curve compared to nonDECA members.”
DECA is simply what you make of it. The organization brings together highly motivated, diverse students, and allows us to build upon critical skills that will catalyze our professional careers – no matter the intended field. Yes, we all share the common interest of business and marketing, but the organization’s complexity runs far deeper; with the many opportunities to compete, be a leader, network, and volunteer, the organization is a toolbox for members to build upon the skills and areas that interest them most.” ANDREW WEATHERMAN | President, High School Division
And as my interview with Amar nears its end, I ask one final question that is elusive to many: What is DECA? And like everything Amar does, he impresses with an eloquent yet effective elevator pitch.
Earn a degree in Business Data Analytics Businesses like Amazon, Starbucks, Disney, and Netflix are using big data every day. They need people to mine, manage, and apply that data to give them the competitive advantage in their industry. This program teaches you to research and analyze large data sets to forecast business strategy success rates, find correlations, and identify trends. You’ll study: • Business Analysis • Data Mining
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ho better to rely on for advice than your DECA Executive President? Andrew Weatherman won second place in the International Business Plan at ICDC in 2017. This is the second section of his two-part Written Event Guide. Find part one in the September / October issue of DECA Direct Magazine.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, think you are too good or too smart for planning and research. If you have that mindset, stop reading right now. Even though I have harped on the importance of research and planning, I have purposely left this stage relatively short. Find the methods that work best for you/ your team.
PLANNING I’ll be honest — I’m the most unorganized person you’ll ever meet. I’m not a big planner. That said, I still had a rough sketch and timetable for my event. It wasn’t much, and it doesn’t have to be much. A simple print-out of the event guidelines, a few dates/ranges scribbled here and there, and that was it. I’m a driven guy, so I could count on that drive and desire to win to push me. If you need a little more planning (this works well with teams, but can also work well for a single person), try Trello — a free online to-do board where you can collaborate with others, assign tasks, set due dates, and add notes. I’m not a big fan of agendas, but many groups find it very helpful to set a meeting agenda whenever they are going to be working on the project.
STAGE 3: THE PAPER After weeks (read: months) of planning and researching, it’s finally time to start seriously drafting your paper. A word of advice: don’t get too attached to your first (or second or third) draft; it won’t be great. As a serious competitor, you need to channel your inner critic; try to read your paper through the lens of that advisor and make changes just as a harsh thirdparty would. That’s how winners work. A quick pro tip: no matter if you’re working alone or as a group, enlist the help of your advisors, friends, trusted family and outside sources to give you feedback on your paper. However, make sure to explain to them that they need to be 100% honest in their critical feedback. People you know will often give you sugar-coated advice, and this will do more harm to your project than good.
HOW IMPORTANT IS MY PAPER? Depending on your event, your presentation and paper score may vary. The paper in a 20 pager will count for 60% of your score, making the paper that much more important. Below is a chart that breaks it all down. Credit to Annie Hulse of Oakton DECA (VA). 10 PAGES:
Scored with the oral presentation
60% of the overall score
Get creative with your formatting
Don’t be overwhelmed
For a Glass-worthy paper, you will spend twice the amount of time researching than you will actually writing the paper. That said, researching is supremely important. I still have a folder on my computer full of PDFs from research for my IBP, paper revisions, audio from meetings and calls, charts and graphs, etc. I even found an amazing e-book with a few chapters especially pertinent to my paper, emailed the publishing company, and received a hard copy (free of charge) in the mail a couple of weeks later. When I conducted research, I always brought a notepad with me, so I could jot down any tidbits, figures, etc. that could’ve brought potential benefit to my paper. I get easily distracted, so to combat this during my paper time, I went to my local library to do all of my work. I think this helped a ton when it came to getting stuff done in an efficient manner, and I would recommend you (or your team) find a quiet “paper place,” somewhere you go when it’s time to finally get down to business.
Only put the most important information in the paper
Break it into small components
Thoroughly document your [research] while it’s going on. You won’t remember everything you did when trying to write about it.” — Lena Kellogg; LV DECA President
Add things to the presentation that aren’t in the paper
Don’t put unnecessary images - they will take up space
Charts and Graphs
Pictures documenting the process
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (ES) This is the most important part of your paper! Judges won’t always have time to read your entire paper, so they will read your summary in-depth and skim the rest. Therefore, it is paramount to have a killer ES. I can’t stress this enough. Start with a bang, sell the problem and solution (but hit hard on the problem), and focus on what makes you stand out. When writing the summary, which should be done after everything else is complete, imagine that your ES is the only thing your judge will read (because it could be), and you need to sell them on your idea with that ES alone.
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER | 2018
STAGE 2: PLANNING AND RESEARCH
FIND AND FUEL
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IT’S TODAY’S BUSINESS, REIMAGINED. BUSINESS.CORNELL.EDU
LET THE SCORE SHEET BE THE BLUEPRINT
SCRIPT OR NO SCRIPT?
You may have been told that a certain section isn’t important. You might think, “Oh, by rearranging these sections, I’ll certainly stand out!” That’s a common thought, but also an erroneous one.
When it comes to presentations, there is the inevitable question of whether to script it out or not. Honestly, this is a personal decision. It is often said, though, that if you are going to memorize your presentation all the way through, you need to have it down to the “Happy Birthday” level, meaning you would be comfortable belting out your script in the most stressful situations.
CONTENT OR APPEARANCE
Make your presentation aesthetically pleasing! A nice tool to use to create materials (if you aren’t fluent in Photoshop) is Canva. At competition, you’ll find that PowerPoints are the outliers. A lot of competitors opt to go the trifold, or more obscure, path. However, the time you take to set up and take down your materials counts in your total time, so practice setting up and taking down before showtime.
An age-old debate between researchers and perfectionists: should my paper be content heavy or aesthetically pleasing? Personally, I have seen more success from a hybrid. Include the most important details, and be thorough on those details for every section. Elaborate on the vital portions, but don’t slack on the visuals. Include meaningful, colorful graphs to break up large chunks of text. When appropriate, substitute text for bullet points or flow charts. Once you decide on a logo and font, maintain a consistent color scheme and font usage. Make sure, though, that you don’t add visuals just to add them. They should add substance to your paper. A respectable content-tovisual ratio for every page is roughly 75:25.
While visuals can certainly help your overall presentation, they should be appropriate and engaging. When presenting, you should interact with your visuals in a way that makes sense. If you are using technology, don’t count on WiFi or outlets. When I presented, I used a traditional PPT and a clicker. I also made business cards with my name and company logo, and I handed the judge a card before I wrapped up. Nice touches like this definitely leave an impression on your judge. Think of the exterior things that could go wrong on the day of your presentation. Prepare back-ups or alternatives so that there are no disasters that could derails all of the work you’ve put into your final project.
Penalty points can literally ruin everything. In my state, if you get more than 10 penalty points on your paper, you can kiss the top 10 goodbye. Triple-check your paper for penalty points before you submit it, and enlist the help of a few classmates. Some common mistakes that lead to penalty points are as follows: exceeding the number of pages, leaving out a section, not having all pages numbered, not using current guidelines (see, I told you guidelines were important). Penalty points are awarded for careless errors, and they’re very easy to avoid if you pay close attention.
You have 15 minutes to give your pitch. However, you shouldn’t use the whole time presenting. After your pitch, the judge(s) will likely have some questions. These questions are not meant to trick you. The judge will usually ask for clarification on parts that you glossed over or will ask in-depth questions on a certain topic. While you’re not obligated to leave time for questions, it’s always recommended. I ran tight on time during my final IBP pitch at ICDC, and I have always wondered if that was the difference between first and second. Learn from my mistakes – leave the time.
STAGE 4: THE PRESENTATION
Don’t be nervous when answering questions. You are the authority on the subject. No one should know your problem, market and solution better than you. One way I prepared for questions was by pitching to others and fielding questions from them. There will likely be parts of your presentation that make perfect sense to you but confuse someone else.
No matter how good your final paper is, the presentation will be the single factor that differentiates you/your team from the competition. Most associations require that papers be submitted a few weeks prior to the state conference. If this is the case, focus on your paper until the due date — don’t even think about your presentation. Once you’ve turned in the paper, turn your full attention to the presentation.
When answering questions, give a concise but full answer: don’t spend too much time on any one question, but make sure to completely answer the judge’s question. Most importantly, have a respectful tone when answering. I know, you probably feel like you covered that section that the judge is confused about very well, but a rude or impatient tone will not support your cause. ANDREW WEATHERMAN | President, High School Division
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER | 2018
You should be in a committed relationship with the guidelines of your event. Read them before writing, then again while writing. Read them between drafts and before bedtime. Know the guidelines better than the people who wrote them. This is a competition, and the guidelines were provided for a reason. Judges are sticklers for judging a paper off the guidelines. A vital thing to do at this moment would be to print out the guidelines of every event that you are considering. In your paper (and presentation) include the exact vocabulary from the rubric and guidelines in your writing.
DEVELOPING THE JORDAN’S COOKIES BRAND
IT ALL STARTED AT A
A Peek Inside:
Founder, CEO, and Chief Cookie Creator of Jordan’s Cookie Read the full story at bit.ly/DDM-Jordan
neighborhood garage sale in 2008. I was 8 years old when I started Jordan’s Cookies. I partnered with a family friend who had catering experience to help get the business off the ground. We worked on flavors, packaging, and delivery with her original recipe. Our partner retired from the food business shortly thereafter, so we re-established the brand independently. With the help of my mom, and countless days of trial-and-error, we created what is known as our Original and Signature Jordan’s Cookies Cookie Dough. As business grew exponentially, there were many nights of baking until 3 am and waking up for school at 5 am, but I managed to make it work. We’ve served thousands of people, won several local and international awards, have spoken to a variety of audiences, and have been able to work with countless companies including Williams-Sonoma, FedEx and ReMax, just to name a few. I currently serve as the Teen Entrepreneur of the year for the Gwinnett County Public School System in Georgia, the most diverse in the Southeast with over 900,000 residents. I graduated high school this past May. I was a DECA member and marketing student for all four years. As president of my DECA chapter, I was able to combine both my business, marketing essentials, and DECA core values all within the learning environments of school and entrepreneurship. Upon my final days as a high school DECA member, I competed in both CDC as well as ICDC this past May. I won first place in DECA’s Business Growth Plan event at both state and international levels.
There are a few key elements that lead to a specifically targeted brand. First you want to figure out your one single concept. For my company, this was obviously cookies. Next, it is important to figure out your angle. What is unique about your company that is different from all other similar companies out there? This takes a little bit of critical thinking, but it’s crucial to name this and always keep it simple for the everyday consumer. Finally, you want to think about how you can get your brand in the market and create a positive reaction. Once you have these three base components, you are ready to begin your introductory and growth phase. Our ambition has always been to use the highest quality, organic, natural and top shelf ingredients to transform the basic idea of a cookie into a delicacy that delivers an authentic homemade taste, all while appealing to the mainstream social savvy cookie consumer. Jordan’s Cookies offers consumers an experience through our products and branding. Our commitment to quality is firm and distinguishes us in the marketplace, helping us to win several awards, honorable press and establish great corporate relationships. Jordan’s Cookies’ philosophy is simple: With special consideration to the customer experience, we want to be known for creating the “Best Cookies on the Planet.” We believe that the quality of our products and the deep loyalty of our customers is the result of thoughtful planning, innovation, skillful execution and the creation of heavenly, mouthwatering freshly baked cookies.
Our company has four product lines and sells over 20 standard flavors of cookies—along with limited time seasonal flavors—to individuals and corporate clients from coast to coast. Each category is unique to the flavors it is comprised of: The Classics, The Colossals, The Millennials, and The GuiltFree Delights. Jordan’s Cookies is currently in the process of a Capital Raise for its first Cookie Studio and Facility, which will serve as a retail storefront as well as a commercial kitchen to fulfill online orders. In addition to the Cookie Studio, Jordan created The Jordan Johnson Foundation, which aims to uplift and provide support for the young people beginning their entrepreneurial journeys. To learn more about Jordan’s journey and how you can support Jordan’s Cookies, head to: J O R DA N S CO O K I E S .CO M @jordanscookies
As president of my DECA chapter, I was able to combine both my business, marketing essentials, and DECA core values all within the learning environments of school and entrepreneurship.”
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CHAPTER BUZZ SMHS DECA went to the UMOM Walk To End Homelessness and helped break a Guinness World Record! fifteen members joined 1,500 other residents of Phoenix to break the record for the most people to complete a 1K walk in flip-flops. In addition to helping break the record, SMHS DECA raised a lot of awareness and over $500 for UMOM, a downtown Phoenix homeless shelter.
ALMA DECA ARKANSAS
Alma DECA partnered with Alma Student Council to host a miracle minute during halftime at a varsity football game. They raised over $1,300 for the Make-A-Wish Kids Helping Kids Foundation. Alma DECA is closer to granting their third wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation! Alma DECA and Alma Student Council partner to make wishes come true for area Wish Kids. Now, only $1,200 remains to grant wish #3.
WASHINGTON DECA CALIFORNIA
Washington DECA kicked off their DECA year strong with an extremely successful club fair.
LAMBERT DECA GEORGIA
Lambert DECA held their “Brunch For Bert’s” event, complete with breakfast donated by Waffle House, to help raise money for Bert’s Big Adventure. The event featured a bouncy house, an Ana and Elsa meet and greet, and a raffle. The event raised over $1,000.
EAST AURORA DECA ILLINOIS
East Aurora DECA held its sixth-annual Forgotten Teens Car Show which included cars, trucks and alternative vehicles entered in competition that included awards for top 10 entry, best alumni vehicle and best of show. The event raised over $1,000 to help homeless teens.
NILES WEST DECA ILLINOIS
Niles West DECA put their DECA and Halloween spirit on display with their DECA pumpkin carving competition! Winners were awarded for most DECAiest, most creative, and scariest.
PETOSKEY DECA MICHIGAN
Annie Miller, Nick Plath and Trevor Ross placed first in the state of Michigan for their International Business Plan which focused on The Boys and Girls Club of America. While in Atlanta, the three students were invited to tour the
headquarters of the Boys and Girls Club of America Headquarters and meet the executive director. The experience allowed them to see how their business plan could have such a large impact on those around them and around the world.
SALINE COUNTY CAREER CENTER DECA MISSOURI
Saline County Career Center DECA members visited their local radio station in Marshall, Missouri to learn more about real world sales and advertising.
LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH DECA MISSOURI
Lee’s Summit North DECA attended the Innov8 Workshop along with other area schools. At this workshop, students were broken up into teams where they created an innovative product. They then presented those ideas to a panel of area small business owners and entrepreneurs.
East Aurora DECA
PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE DECA NEW YORK
Plainview Old-Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School DECA hosted their annual installation ceremony. The DECA 20182019 chapter welcomed 63 new first year members and installed a total of 146 members. POB DECA welcomed Mr. Josh Seiden (POB DECA 2010) as a alumni member for the 2018-2019 school year. He spoke to the group about what DECA has done for him and how it has helped him on the path to start his own business.
Lee’s Summit North DECA
LOCKPORT DECA NEW YORK
LHS DECA held its annual miracle minute during spirit week. DECA members were assigned to a classroom to collect as many pieces of pocket change or dollar bills as they could in the one-minute time span. All proceeds go towards the Alzheimer’s Association, New York DECA’s state charity. They raised over $700. Sydney Lakeman, LHS Senior and DECA officer said, “The miracle minute is a great way to use the hype of homecoming to help a good cause. It’s amazing to see how such little pocket change from an individual can turn out to make a big difference.”
APEX DECA NORTH CAROLINA
Apex DECA held an initial interest meeting a few weeks ago. The Southern Region VP, and two NC area VP’s arrived to meet 300 students, who were ready to hear all about DECA!
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER | 2018
SUNRISE MOUNTAIN DECA ARIZONA
CHAPTER BUZZ MAPLE HEIGHTS DECA OHIO
WAUSAU WEST DECA WISCONSIN
TRI COUNTY TECH DECA OKLAHOMA
DODGEVILLE DECA WISCONSIN
Maple Heights DECA raised awareness for breast cancer by wearing pink ribbon DECA t-shirts every Wednesday in October. Staff, students and community members purchased shirts to celebrate those who lost, and beat, the fight against breast cancer. Survivors include Maple Heights High School principal, secretary and their own advisor’s mother.
Tri County Tech DECA Chapter members visited Acrobat Ant, a large marketing firm in Tulsa. Students also got to meet Stan Clark, owner of Eskimo Joes, one of the top selling t shirts in the world!
HARDIN VALLEY ACADEMY DECA TENNESSEE
DECA members from Hardin Valley Academy learned about behind the scenes workings of an NFL team at the Tennessee Titans Learning Lab. They got a tour of Nissan Stadium, saw presentations from Titans Executives and even got to participate in a Q&A. Plus, they ran into the Tennessee Association Advisor, Mr. Mitchell!
BLACKMAN DECA TENNESSEE
Blackman DECA showed their school spirit while walking in the homecoming parade.
ROCK RIDGE DECA VIRGINIA
Wausau West DECA held their annual DECA Tailgate to kick off the start of the school year. The event provides an opportunity for old members to reconnect and to welcome new incoming members. Each year a local business sponsors the event to provide free food and beverages to all tailgaters. It’s a great way to get the word out about DECA and provide a networking opportunity.
Dodgeville High School DECA sponsored “Safe Driving Week” with the goal of raising awareness of risky behaviors and teaching strategies for safe driving. “Safe Driving Week” concluded with an annual dance. Students were invited to take a break from dancing and play a virtual reality simulation about the importance of limiting distractions while driving and the consequences when drivers are inattentive. In addition, nearly 100 students also signed the Pledge to End Distracted Driving and received a DHS Safe Driving t-shirt.
Maple Heights DECA
Hardin Valley Academy DECA
DC EVEREST DECA WISCONSIN
DC Everest DECA members from both the Junior and Senior High School created posters for the vets participating in the Honor Flight. Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. They transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials.
Wausau West DECA
Rock Ridge DECA in Ashburn, VA held a DECA Serve Day on Monday, October 8 to kick off Pink Week and support Step Sisters, a local breast cancer support group. Members filled chemo comfort bags, wrote inspirational notes and made ribbons to give away.
STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION
(1) Publication Title: DECA Direct. (2) Publication Number: 0566-200. (3) Filing Date: 9/30/2017. (4) Issue Frequency: 4 times/year: Sept./Oct., Nov./Dec., Jan./Feb., Mar./Apr. (5) Number of Issues Published Annually: 4. (6) Annual Subscription Price: $5.00. (7) Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication (Not printer): DECA Inc., 1908 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191-1594. Contact Person: Frank Peterson. Telephone: 703-860-5000. (8) Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: DECA Inc., 1908 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191-1594. (9) Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor: Publisher: Lou DiGioia, DECA Inc., 1908 Association Dr., Reston, VA 201911594. Editor: Frank Peterson, DECA Inc., 1908 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191-1594. Managing Editor: Hayley Pettey, DECA Inc., 1908 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191-1594. (10) Owner: Full Name, Complete Mailing Address: DECA Inc., 1908 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191-1594. (11) Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or Other Securities: None. (12) Tax Status (For completion by nonprofit organizations authorized to mail at nonprofit rates): The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes: Has Not Changed During Preceding 12 Months. (13) Publication Title: DECA Direct. (14) Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: September 2, 2018. (15) Extent and Nature of Circulation: Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months/No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: (a) Total Number of Copies (Net press run): 111,343/84,533. (b) Paid and/or Requested Circulation: (1) Paid/Requested Outside-County Mail Subscriptions Stated on Form 3541. (Include advertiser’s proof and exchange copies): 104,487/78,409. (2) Paid In-County Subscriptions Stated on Form 3541 (Include advertiser’s proof and exchange copies) 0/0. (3) Paid distribution outside the mails: 0/0. (4) Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS: 5,900/4,450. (c) Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation [Sum of 15b (1), (2), (3), and (4)]: 110,387/82,859. (d) Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (By Mail and Outside the Mail): (1) Outside-County included on PS Form 3541: 0/0. (2) Free or Nominal Rate In-County Copies Included on PS Form 3541: 0/0. (3) Free or Nominal Rate Copies Mailed at Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS: 0/0. (4) Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the Mail (Carriers or other means): 0/0. (e) Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (Sum of 15d (1), (2), (3), and (4)): 0/0. (f) Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and 15e): 111,343/84,533. (g) Copies not Distributed: 0/0. (h) Total (Sum of 15f and g): 111,343/84,533. (i) Percent Paid (15c divided by 15f times 100): 100%/100% (16) Electronic Copy Circulation: (a) Paid Electronic Copies: 0/0. (b) Total Paid Print Copies + Paid Electronic Copies: 110,387/82,859. (c) Total Print Distribution + Paid Electronic Copies: 110,387/82,859. (d) Percent Paid (Both Print & Electronic Copies): 100/100. I certify that 50% of all my distributed copies (electronic and print) are paid above a nominal price. (17) Publication of Statement of Ownership: Publication required. Will be printed in the November/December 2018 issue of this publication. (18) Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager, or Owner: Lou DiGioia, Executive Director. Date: 10/11/2018.
So, what’s wrong with this picture? Find out on the back cover … stthomas.edu/DECA