Contributed by Tucker Matrisch | UW Madison DECA, WI
This semester, UW–Madison DECA launched a new mentorship program to connect new and returning members. This has allowed younger members who might lack experience or are nervous about occupying higher roles in the organization to get their foot in the door. The program has had a lot of success as new students feel welcome paired up with a senior member – a familiar face in a crowd is always a welcome sight.
The VP of member relations and competitions took this task head-on and searched for ways to bring freshmen closer to some of our more seasoned members. The consensus on how to do that: create a survey to match members with similar interests. After pairing new members with their respective DECA mentors, the next step was establishing communication channels. We had members meet up with their mentors and exchange information to facilitate their connections better. Doing this has allowed our senior members to foster connections with youth members and help promote networking skills within our chapter.
Overall this new program has made new members feel welcome in our chapter. The ability to reach out to a senior member about competition, general DECA questions, internship opportunities, getting adjusted to a new school or any general advice questions has greatly impacted the success of our members. We have found that this program helps new members feel more invested in the chapter and be excited to participate in events we hold. Not only have our new members benefited greatly, but our senior members have also had some great experiences. Older members feel more connected to the continued success of our chapter and have a serious way to leave a mark on the organization. Overall, it has been a mutually beneficial opportunity for both senior members as well as the younger group of members.