How To Get The Most Out of #DECAICDC

Sherri Dickie | Vector Marketing

Whether this is your first opportunity to attend DECA’s International Career Development Conference, or you’re coming back once again, the countdown is on, and it’s important to prepare for the experience, so you can make the most out of every moment in Atlanta!

As a sponsor, and now also a Board member for DECA Ontario, I’ve had the great opportunity to attend #DECAICDC for at least the last nine years. While I never competed as a student, I’ve witnessed those that have embraced their experience and I think there are three things to keep in mind, in order to get the most out of ICDC:

1. Be in the moment.

It really is difficult to describe the energy of 18,000 students and advisors gathered together to compete, learn and grow. Cell phones can distract us, we can let our nerves get the best of us, or we can worry about what we’re missing at home – however I really encourage you to be in the moment. Wherever you are, be there.

Whether you are having dinner with your chapter, greeting your judge with a firm handshake or walking across the stage to accept your DECA glass, take a breath and enjoy the moment.

2. Get to know at least 3-5 new people.

You are going to be surrounded by thousands of people. It can be easy to hang out with your roommates or competition partner, and not really make an effort to expand your network. I think this would be a real missed opportunity.

This is a great chance for you to get to know that teacher advisor from your school that you don’t know very well, a sponsor you meet in the exhibit hall, a student from a school out of state or country or a fellow competitor at the DECA 5K Run/Walk. With social media these days, you can continue your relationship well past ICDC and you never know if those new connections could lead to future employment opportunities or life-long friendships.

3. Take some time to meet the sponsors and vendors.

Sure there will be some great swag in the exhibit hall and who doesn’t love free stuff, right? However, if you take a little time to explore the hall, you’ll realize there are a number of opportunities at your finger tips – the chance to meet and ask questions to those representing the post-secondary institutions you may be considering, conversations with sponsors who have potential work opportunities available and other vendors who have great fundraising ideas for your chapter.

I’m thrilled to be attending ICDC once again. I’ll be cheering all of you on, and look forward to meeting as many of you as I can.  Be sure to stop by our booth and say hello!

This article was written by Vector Marketing Canadian National Recruiting Manager, Sherri Dickie. Vector Marketing is a DECA National Advisory Board partner and Corporate Social Media Correspondent. You can follow Vector Marketing on Twitter @VectorMarketing.

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