Learning from the Pros at Men’s Wearhouse During #CDECAENGAGE

This past month Collegiate DECA members traveled to The New Yorker Hotel in New York City for the 2017 Collegiate DECA ENGAGE conference.

Split into five different tracks (business management, hospitality, marketing, and finance) members participated in a case study competition focused on online reputation management strategies for the National Advisory Board members sponsoring their respective industry tracks.

In addition, members attended tours led by participating NAB partners around the city where they met with key executives from each company.

I had the opportunity to lead the Marketing & Communications Track sponsored by Men’s Wearhouse. The track had an impressive 101 DECA-cated members registered to participate for the weekend.

The weekend started off great with a networking session where members had the opportunity to meet other participants as well as interact with some of our partners and keynote speakers. Amongst the partners and speakers was Mike Sins, Director of Special Events at Tailored Brands (parent company to Men’s Wearhouse) and Crystal Rousseau, Assistant Vice President at L’Oréal.

Day two began with two exclusive tours of Men’s Wearhouse and JoS. A. Bank on Madison Avenue, provided by the Regional Vice Presidents from both companies. Attendees were given a behind-the-scenes look at the stores, including the tailoring department and customer sales experience, and gained insights during a Q&A session about the company’s online presence management strategies.

Members were given the roles of customers and the Regional Vice Presidents dressed the students as they would a customer. This portion of the tour even inspired students to purchase the suits that they were given to try on!

Dan Ryan of Rowan Gloucester College in New Jersey said, “I just loved the suit so much I had to buy it and even shop around a little more!”

Later in day two, members attended a workshop by Men’s Wearhouse, where they learned even more about the Men’s Wearhouse strategies and the organization, and then participated in an online business simulation with Knowledge Matters representatives. Toward the end of the day students were given time to finalize and work on the case study challenges with their teams.

Day three, the final day of the conference, was competition day. Students utilized all the knowledge and skills they learned the past few days to compete against one another in the case study challenge. Half of the teams presented to Mike Sins, who also serves as Chair of DECA’s National Advisory Board, while the other half presented their ideas to Men’s Wearhouse District Formalwear Manager, Diana Devlin.

At the end of the case study competition, prior to winners being announced, the Marketing & Communication Track members participated in a Learn from the Pros Q&A session with our judges. This session was extremely popular and our students asked many interesting and engaging questions!

Overall the #CDECAENGAGE Marketing & Communications Track was an unforgettable experience that provided #Limitless opportunities to Collegiate DECA members. From networking with one another, meeting with executives from our National Advisory Board, and gaining insight into current corporate issues and solutions in our case study challenge, #CDECAENGAGE was proven to be a success!

Follow Paul on Twitter @cdecavppaul.

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