After a long 725 days, the Collegiate DECA Chapter at UW-Madison attended their first in-person case study competition since March of 2020. The last two years have presented the challenge of bringing a national organization that thrives through in-person events to platforms such as Zoom to continue to prepare the next generation of emerging leaders and entrepreneurs. On March 3rd through the 5th, the chapter attended the Wisconsin Collegiate DECA State Case Study Competition in Delavan, Wisconsin for a chance to compete at this year’s International Career Development Conference in Baltimore, Maryland this April.
While this was the first in-person conference since 2020, the chapter had continued to compete through the virtual case competitions offered through the national organization. Over the last two years, the chapter has won 5 international titles and had 6 international runners-up, with over 23 students placing as finalists at the Virtual International Conferences in 2020 and 2021.
As the first in-person conference back, it surely was one to remember. With a fairly young group this year, the chapter was more than eager to be back in-person. Students networked with hundreds of students from across the state and attended sessions led by the first all Badger State Officer Team in the organization’s 60-year history. The team was composed of Vice Presidents Jeremy Erickson (BS ’22) and Melissa Okus (BBA ’22) and State President Jenny Patino (BBA ’22). Erickson, Okus, and Patino spent the last year connecting with members and transitioning the statewide organization back to its in-person functions.
After students competed in their business cluster exams and competed in two case studies centered around a topic in finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, business management, or hospitality, it was time for awards. With 17 events offered, the chapter won 12 state championships, with all 32 students qualifying for the International Conference. This is the 4th year in a row that the chapter has qualified with every student.
The chapter also received various chapter-wide awards for its activities and involvement in the community. The chapter earned 4th in the Community Service Award, received a Membership Award, a Presidential Passport Award, and won the DECA Diamond Award for Chapter of the Year. Various students also received recognition for their Individual Leadership Passport Awards and Maycie Page (BS ’22) won the Student of the Year event.
Current chapter Vice President of Chapter Development, Myranda Breezee (BS ’23), was elected as State Vice President while the chapter’s Vice President of Finance, Aman Saiyed (BBA ’24), was elected as State President. Breezee and Saiyed will spend the next year engaging with students and making their mark on the organization.
Next up, the chapter heads to Baltimore, Maryland for this year’s Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference. Students will head down to compete for an International Championship among the best of the best and will attend various professional development workshops hosted by some of the leading industry professionals.