How to Stay Involved in DECA, No Matter What Age

Over the past two months, I have had the opportunity to see the ins and outs of DECA as an intern for the high school division and communications department.

I have gotten to experience the other side of things and while I have made my last conference appearance for the summer, I have learned a great deal about myself and my passion for this organization.

This week, I challenge you to really think about your DECA experience and consider how you can continue to be involved in DECA as you explore the great unknowns of a college campus.

Here are four fantastic ways to grow in DECA after graduation:

  1. Become a Collegiate Member

Just because you aren’t in high school anymore doesn’t mean you can’t still be a member of DECA. Many colleges and universities have Collegiate DECA chapters, and starting a chapter on your campus is an easy process many former high school members do each year!

  1. Become an Alumni Member

If you decide that your glory-days of high school is where you want to lay your DECA career to rest, perhaps joining as an alumni member is what suits you best. You can continue to be a member at your old stomping grounds and help your chapter with their membership. As an alumni member, you really don’t have any obligations, but it’s a good opportunity to give back to the chapter that gave you so much. Consider coming back to talk to students about college life, share resume and interview tips, and help students with their own college applications.

  1. Become a Professional Member

If you’re reading this and never were in DECA, or you were and are a business professional these days, you can still make an impact in the DECA world. Joining as a professional member is easy – all you have to do is pay dues! The chapter may ask you to come in as a guest speak and share your insight in the classroom, but I can say talking to students about what you do can be fun, especially when they are interested in the field.

  1. Volunteer

At the end of the day, you don’t even have to be a member of DECA to make an impact on its community. This past year I saw a great number of people volunteering at conferences and competitions around my association, Virginia DECA, and there are a great number of opportunities to give back. At the chapter, association, or national level, DECA is always looking for help from its alumni and professional members, as well as outsiders looking to lend a hand.

Just because you have a diploma doesn’t mean your DECA journey needs to stop. There are always ways to stay involved. Don’t ask what DECA can do for you, it has done plenty to help get you where you are. Now it’s time to ask what you can do for DECA.

Follow Rob on Twitter @heyitsmerob.

Categories: Alumni, Chapter Development, Chapter Resources, Chapter Resources (Home Page Teaser), Membership + Recruitment, Profiles

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