Transform Ideas into Action
Taking your DECA experience and using it to get ahead in the real world is easier than you might think. Check out some ways you can transform your DECA ideas into real action to help you land an internship, make connections or get ready for the professional world ahead.
If you competed in a written event, you probably wrote a business plan, promotion plan, ad campaign, or some form of a research document. Many plans or campaigns involve a researching a particular company, so why not find the best contact at that company and send him or her your written report! Then try to set up a meeting with him or her to receive feedback and discuss your project.
I did this my junior year in high school when I competed in the Sports & Entertainment Promotion Plan event. I created a promotion plan for the Battle Creek Bombers, a summer collegiate baseball team, and let them know what I was doing. They ended up using one of my special events I included in my project, and I even became a marketing intern for the Bombers during the following summer.
If you participated in role-plays, try to meet with local business owners to learn about what they do and what their plans are for their business. Once you build a relationship, ask if you can offer him/her ideas for promotions or other aspects of the business’s operations. In other words, be a real-world business consultant – this is what a lot of DECA’s role-plays consist of anyway!
Why is this important? Too frequently I observe DECA members and fellow classmates come up with great ideas and creative solutions that are never put into action after a DECA competition or class is over. If you’re serious about business, the question really is why NOT do this?
Most excuses go back to not having the confidence or belief in one’s self, which seems crazy because that’s such a huge part of participating in the DECA!
For every reason why you shouldn’t do something, there’s an even better reason for why your should. Here are a few of them:
- Make Connections: It helps to know people who do what you want to do because you can learn exactly what it’s going to take to get where they are.
- Gain Experience: Participating in DECA is a solid resume builder, but if you can say you actually executed your project for a real business, that’s even more impressive.
- Know Your Potential: You never know what will happen until you try!
Here is your chance to reap the rewards of your hard work. Now, just go for it.
Follow Jacob on Twitter @JacobDerry.