DECA, Competition and the Real World

Competition can be a healthy thing. It can weed out the weak and empower the strong.  If you look at competition in that way, it’s natural to want to be one of those that rises to the top, right?

Our company, Publix, competes all the time, wins often, and in fact, was recently recognized as top in international food safety among its peers. Our company competes in much the same way you might want to approach competition.

Here are three tips you can use for DECA competitions, your college applications, or applying for a great job.

First, learn the parameters in which you’re competing. In the case of DECA competition, there are likely to be a number of requirements for your competition presentation and specifics on how you will be judged. If you are competing for a job, identify all of the required and preferred qualifications for the job. As a company, Publix also competes on many different aspects. In terms of quality, for instance, we are judged based on our performance against health and safety codes and regulations, as well as industry standards.   

After discovering the basis on how you will be judged, exceed it! Take those parameters, meet every single one, and do your best to not only nail them, but go beyond them. If your presentation calls for visuals, make them so eye-catching that they would compete with Taylor Swift’s next costume change! If your presentation calls for data, know it inside and out. Present it in such a way that it is understandable to the novice — and stands up to the most cynical judge’s questioning.

If you are an applicant seeking a job or entrance to college, show how you not only meet the qualifications, but exceed them! If, as in the case of Publix, you’re being judged on industry standards, go way beyond those standards. In fact, raise the bar and establish your own high standards above and beyond the norm.

Finally, be confident. You know your material better than anyone else. You put together the presentation or application of the century, now own it. Be proud of what you possess, and do not second guess yourself.  Prepare, perform, and act like a leader and you will have the rest of the competitive pack following you all the way to the finish line. 

Follow Publix on Twitter @Publix.

Categories: Business, Career Advice, College, College & Career Advice, Compete, HS Competitive Events, Job Advice, Role-Play