China DECA Delegation Enjoys Its First #DECAICDC Experience

Imagine traveling to a foreign country where the language spoken is not the one you are most familiar. Next, imagine having to make a presentation to a judge in that language, while using extensive and fluent business jargon.

Congratulations, you have put yourself in the shoes of all China DECA members who were at #DECAICDC! Despite the difficulty of the language barrier, the members rose above the challenge through hard work, determination and a constant positive attitude.

To warmly welcome China DECA to its first International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Ga., Johnson & Wales University, along with DECA Inc.’s executive director and officers, met with the delegation for a fun and festive ice cream social.

Johnson & Wales University representatives spoke to China DECA members about continuing their education in the United States at various JWU campuses. Johnson & Wales is ranked number seven in the International Student Business Program and within the top 100 of colleges for international students. This was appealing to many of the Chinese members, as they had shown interest in remaining in the U.S. after high school.

China DECA traveled to this year's ICDC with 78 members, and plans to bring more in the future. Several members testified to the incredible networking and leadership opportunities of the conference saying they will encourage their friends to join the organization that has taught them so much.

“The purpose of DECA to me is to socialize with more people, have an experience and learn more things about business. I want to improve my partnership with my teammate and the leadership of myself, all while enjoying the time I have here," said Peter, one of the China DECA members.

Michael, another China DECA member, especially enjoyed the networking. “I love meeting new people and everyone is friendly. I will come back next year for that.”

Not only did the members come to network and gain leadership skills, but they also came to compete. Many of the members competed in DECA’s Innovation Plan, in which teams of two develop a product, submit a written entry and present their idea in front of a judge.

To #MakeItCount in Atlanta, Kasser and his partner Michael, dedicated much of their time to their project. “Before we came here, we had two months to prepare. My teammate and I were always writing together. My teacher always helped [us]. We spent more time preparing than we did with our friends, but I think it will be worth it.”

Throughout the project and competition, both remained positive, especially Michael. "We have prepared for a long time and tried our best in the presentation and written entry. If we lose, I will still be happy," Michael said.

Although the members of China DECA faced many some difficulties due to cultural barriers, they showed the true spirit of DECA and gave it their all. The delegation hopes to bring a greater number of competitors next year and DECA as a whole hopes to see greater international involvement in years to come.

Follow Abbey on Twitter @abbeyjburtis.

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