Graduating DECA Members Learn from Top Business Executives at #DECAICDC 2016

One of DECA’s guiding principles is that its members will graduate as experienced leaders. Throughout the course of their involvement in DECA, DECA members have multiple opportunities to test their leadership skills and learn from some of the most experienced and successful leaders in corporate America.

Perhaps the most dynamic example “learning from the pros” is DECA’s Executive Mentor Program.

The Executive Mentor Program is the signature program of DECA’s National Advisory Board (NAB.) It pairs students participating in the ASPIRE Academy at DECA’s annual International Career Development Conference with 70 top executives to talk about life after high school and how to achieve personal, academic and career success.

Each executive sits down with a table of 8 to 10 DECA members for four rounds of 20 minutes each. They’re given a topic to initiate conversation, but are really encouraged to ask whatever they want to know from the people who are sitting “where they want to be.”

The program was created by the NAB with three specific goals:

  1. To provide NAB executives, who don’t necessarily engage the partnership on a daily basis, a meaningful opportunity to engage DECA members.
  2. To provide the NAB an opportunity to explain the importance of their DECA partnership to their fellow executives.
  3. To help DECA develop new NAB partnerships.

This year’s program is sponsored by Marriott International, Inc. and highlighted by the #DECAICDC Opening Session keynote address from Erika L. Alexander, Chief Lodging Services Officer, The Americas, and Melissa Froehlich Flood, Vice President of Government Affairs.

While the Executive Mentor Program is flagship to DECA’s leadership development programing, the same kind of opportunity exists, with NAB and community leaders, for every DECA member in every DECA chapter.

DECA encourages chapters to reach out to local NAB representatives and engage for employment and research opportunities, to help members prepare for competition and, in general, to help members prepare for personal, academic and career success.

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