How to Assemble Your DECA ICDC Dream Team

It is early fall and your DECA advisor has announced that it is time to begin exploring competitive events for the year. Written manuals, role plays, testing…oh my! 

For new DECA members, choosing a DECA competitive event can be overwhelming and confusing. If you choose an event that allows for a partner or group, such as team decision making events, business operations research events, and some entrepreneurship events, you will need to assemble your “dream team” if you want to make it all the way to the stage at DECA’s International Career Development Conference.

Here are some tips on how to pick the perfect partner or group members for your ICDC dream team:

  1. Balance is Key – Many people might believe the best decision is to pick partners who have similar strengths and weaknesses to you. However, the strongest “dream teams” have a balance of people who excel and struggle in different areas. This balance will help ensure your team’s abilities are diversified and stronger. For example, if you excel in designing Power Point presentations but struggle with writing the manual, look for partners who love in writing papers and prefer to stay away from Power Point.
  1. Assess their Dedication – Although it is hard to believe, not all DECA members are head-over-heels DECAcated. While your partner does not have to be solely dedicated to DECA, choosing a partner who has other obligations, like sports or extracurricular activities, may cause the bulk of the project to fall on your shoulders. If you are ok with this possibility, then go for it! Just make sure you and your partner are aware of the time needed to assemble a stellar project and how much time you both have to put into it.
  1. Look at Your Partner’s Schedule – Some competitive events, such as team decision making events, require both partners’ participation in order to compete at all levels of competition (district, association/provincial, and international). Check your partner’s schedule to make sure they do not have conflicting events on the days of these various competitions. There would be nothing worse than to qualify for your chartered association’s career development conference and have to withdraw because your partner has a wedding to attend that weekend.
  1. Keep Open Communication with Your “Dream Team” – It is crucial throughout the DECA year to keep in close contact with your “dream team.”  By keeping open communication, you will be able to stay on schedule and allow the partners to assess their work so far. Text message group chats and Facebook group chats are two effective ways to keep constant communication with your partners. You can also use programs such as Google Drive or DropBox to globally store your manuals and allow partners to collaborate on the work, rather than having just one person holding all the competitive event project materials.

Partnerships in competition are incredibly rewarding; some of my best friendships have developed through DECA competitions! Good luck in competition this year and hopefully you will be on the stage with your partner or “dream team” in Orlando next April!

Follow Nicole on Twitter @Nicole_DECA.

Categories: Compete, HS Competitive Events, Presentation Prep, Role-Play, Strategies, Written, Written Prep