Collegiate DECA ICDC: Going for Glass

Mar 1, 2024

While we look ahead to Collegiate DECA ICDC, our excitement grows, thinking about the networking opportunities, workshops and memories to be made while in Austin. A core memory for every competitor is always getting on stage, waiting to hear your name called to win that coveted DECA Glass.

Anna Egeland from Minnesota State University - Moorhead, Lauren Waiss from Northwood University, and Garrett Skupinski from Austin Community College are all seasoned veterans in their competitive events. In this article, they provide some helpful insight and tips for your next upcoming event.

How have you been successful in your competitive events? What’s something that you did that can help other members?

Anna: I have won my state conference several times and been a CDECA ICDC finalist during my time in Collegiate DECA! However, my biggest success in competitive events has been the growth I’ve seen in my confidence and critical thinking skills. No matter how I place, I have seen improvement with every event I’ve done. My biggest tip for other members is never to go with your first idea - chances are, it’s most competitors’ first idea, too! Creative solutions are the best way to stand out from your peers and receive higher scores!

Lauren: My DECA success truly comes down to being my authentic self in competition. When you are with a judge, you are playing a role as dictated by the case study scenario or event guidelines – you might be a consultant or an employee for the judge’s company, or you might even be a hypothetical business owner yourself – but at the end of the day, you are still YOU. Let your personality shine! I’m a people person, so I do my best work with a judge, and I can get them smiling and talking with me. Your authentic self is your best self … you’ll be more relaxed, more comfortable and have a clear head to make the most of your short time with the judge. Be you!

Garrett: I would recommend exploring trying events that seem daunting. I’ve gotten two first and one second place at SCDC and placed top 5 in two events in 2023 at Collegiate DECA ICDC. Teaming up with Lettie Hastings for an extra event in 2023 at CDECA ICDC wasn’t only filled with fun and bits of laughter and utilizing each other’s skill sets and placing in the top 5, which made the competition even more exciting.

What advice can you give members to help them make the most of their experience at their first Collegiate ICDC?

Anna: My advice for Collegiate ICDC is to network! Attend all the events and push yourself to talk to new people. It can be intimidating, but everyone there is in the same boat as you! Connections are what make DECA so special.

Lauren: My first ICDC was a trainwreck (I was 14 and a freshman in high school). I was so focused on the competition ahead of me that I didn’t even stop to enjoy the beauty of what was happening around me. The competition aspect of ICDC is important – after all, that’s why we are all there – but competition should not be the only part of the conference you engage with. Between the professional development sessions, networking opportunities and enjoying the host city, there are dozens of other things that make ICDC a memorable experience. Take advantage of everything the conference offers (pro tip: use the conference app to manage your activities). Being called on stage to earn a medal or win some DECA glass is a surreal experience, but in 10 or 15 years, the accolades and accomplishments won’t be the core of your DECA journey. The stories you share with your family and friends will be based on your experiences at the conference and the memories you make; your competitive success will just be the cherry on top.

Garrett: You will be busy, so make sure to keep your schedule organized with alarms and ensure a stress-free zone like your hotel room. Collegiate DECA ICDC has great networking and competitions, but self-care is key to success.

Whether you’re trying out a new competitive event or have never been to Austin, make sure you have fun and Experience the Difference!


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