High School vs. College Intro Business Classes

Dec 20, 2022

With the semester slowly coming to an end for us students, college is on the mind of DECA members. With many chapters, taking a business class while being a member is incredibly beneficial, but what does it look like to take an intro to business class at a university?

Being a first-year business student at Pacific Lutheran University, things look quite different from my three high school business courses. PLU has been an AACSB- accredited university since 1971, which only 190 schools have across the world, which means they teach the curriculum at a higher standard that prepares students for the current and future industry. The first class you complete as a PLU business student is BUSA 201: Introduction to Global Business. Here are ways my time as a high school DECA member in class helped prepare me for this course:

1. Competing in Independent Business Plan

For the entirety of Business and Marketing II, our class worked on our written independent business plans, which I would absolutely recommend to members wanting to become entrepreneurs. In BUSA 201, the entire semester included a team-based Shark Tank project where we created a business for two months where all profit was donated to a charity of our choice. My team decided to use my past business plan and went out to sell actual products. In high school, it only ever felt like a dream, but BUSA 201 made it a reality where we learned the trials and errors of our business. I even discovered that a booming small business I love started in that same class three years ago! Overall, this project showed me that with my DECA skills, I could challenge myself once I took the leap.

2. Learning With Simulations

If you are familiar with the Virtual Business Challenge, you will know it is all about decision-making and adapting after each step. My high school’s business courses used them for grades rather than competition. However, at PLU, you compete as a team on CapsimCore against other teams in your class. Competing against other teams allowed us to see how our virtual business was affected by competitors in the same industry, which I found incredibly interesting.

3. Case Studies

Case studies helped us make decisions that were well-informed and thought out under time restrictions or in situations where we had to change plans. One day in BUSA 201 was set up exactly like a scenario you would see while competing. However, being a global business course, the scenario involved us understanding and working with different businesses and meeting customs from foreign countries. While the format was familiar to me as a DECA member, I loved seeing the course's twist on the scenarios that allowed me to take in new understandings. 

While not everyone will have the same experience in an introductory business course in college, the knowledge you acquire as a DECA member in or out of the class truly helps prepare you to put your best foot forward in the future.


Danielle Poulin
Western Region Vice President 2022-2023

Danielle Poulin served as DECA's Western Region Vice President during the 2022-2023 school year.

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