Last Day at ASPIRE Academy Creates Lasting Relationships

High school graduation is not too far off for most of the seniors who attended the ASPIRE Academy at DECA’s International Career Development Conference’s and during the last day of the academy, we got a little preview of what that sacred day might feel like.

Although the DECA members in our group of eight at the academy have not been with each other through 13 years of schooling, we networked enough to build a relationship that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Prior to our graduation, we finished up the academy segments that taught us valuable life skills for college and our careers. We focused on four main areas and below area some of the highlights from these segments.

Money Matters and we all know it. The ASPIRE Academy speaker, Matt Meuleners, asked us what average yearly salary we wanted in 10 years. Answers ranged from $75,000 to $150,000 and from that lesson, we learned that money is not about the number, but how we want to spend it.

Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways to avoid the financial troubles that a majority of college students go through:

  • Avoid getting a credit card from someone giving away free stuff
  • Make a budget and stick to it
  • Pay yourself first
  • Try
  • Establish a good financial representation

Everything you may need to know about perfecting a resume was covered in the Getting Through the Door segment. Attendees learned about self-control, resilience, empathy, and grit and how each of these things help create a better resume.

Check out the top do’s and don’ts for resume writing:


  • Be honest
  • Include the four qualities (self-control, resilience, empathy and grit) by using real-world examples
  • Use LinkedIn
  • Write recommendations to get recommendations in return


  • Try to make your position sound larger than it is
  • Make your resume too long or too short

Making An Impression can be the most difficult part when trying to score your dream job. Maintaining eye contact, keeping a clear voice, researching the business, dressing nice, and following up are the typical ways to make a great first impression, but they do need to be practiced! It may seem awkward, but practice makes perfect and after all, what would you like to be remembered as?

Here are the top five first impression tips from ASPIRE:

  1. Use a creative follow-up and show that you value the person or business you’re reaching out to.
  2. You CAN take notes at the interview.
  3. When answering a question, the more information you can provide, the better your answer will be.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to the recruiters or interviewers.
  5. Eye contact needs to be practiced so that you can master the skill.

Not all of the seniors in the academy are 100% ready to start college and be in the real world, but thanks to ASPIRE, none of us feel unprepared for the journey we’re about to take.

Follow Beca on Twitter @bwiser19.

Check out photos from ASPIRE using #DECAspire and following @focus_geek and @focus_Mario.

Categories: Career Advice, College, College & Career Advice, Conference Highlights, Financial Aid & Scholarships, Home Page Conference News, Job Advice, Reviews, Tips For Finding A Job