If you want to become good at something, there is no better preparation than practice.
High school students who participated in the DECA Mock Competition held on October 28 at Immaculata University took the opportunity to practice their critical thinking, problem-solving, communications, collaboration and creativity skills with fellow students from Rustin, West Chester East, Bishop Shanahan, Henderson and Lincoln high schools.
With Immaculata faculty and students serving as judges and some as facilitators, the mock competition was a test-run for the state DECA competition held annually in February in Hershey, PA. Students divided into groups to work as “consultants” helping a fictional swim team client promote their team and community pool. The groups had 10 minutes to research and brainstorm ideas to market and promote the school’s swim team and seven minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, who provided feedback and pitch improvement suggestions.
Prior to the students beginning the competition, they practiced some of the small—but important—business skills, such as introducing themselves to one another, shaking hands, and making eye contact. They also rotated through other interactive sessions, including discussions focusing on tips for applying to college, a training session on How to Make the Most of Your High School Experience offered by DECA student officers, and a social media marketing lesson presented by Dr. Mark McFadden, chair of the Immaculata University Business, Fashion and Leadership Department.
With DECA PA preparing over 4,700 emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers and higher education in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management, Immaculata University President Barbara Lettiere welcomed the opportunity to observe and interact with the competition participants. “This is an excellent opportunity for Immaculata students and faculty to interact with the business leaders of tomorrow,” stated Lettiere. “We enjoy sharing our insights with high school students, and we love seeing their faces light up when they’re introduced to the Immaculata campus.”