Tanya Vaidya, Co-President of DECA Quebec

Tanya Vaidya is currently a U3 student in Economics and Finance, and serves as the Co-President of DECA Quebec. Born in India, raised in Singapore, and studying in Canada, she proudly establishes herself as a 'third culture" individual.

Belle Kim for Her Campus (HC McGill): What is DECA and its purpose as an association?

Tanya Vaidya (TV): DECA is an organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for various careers in marketing, finance or hospitality starting in high school and continuing through college. We currently have DECA chapters across the world, with North America having the highest concentration. There are two main facets of DECA: a professional development aspect and a case competition side. We have previously held leadership workshops such as a “Working on Your Strengths” workshop by McKinsey [a global management consulting firm]. To accompany the professional development aspect, there is a provincial competition held by DECA Quebec at the end of the year where delegates have a chance to showcase their case-cracking skills. There is a distinction also between DECA McGill and DECA Quebec: DECA McGill operates under the umbrella of DECA Quebec, the provincial-level DECA organization. DECA Quebec is still quite a new initiative only two years old so we are still at our growing stage. We have established chapters at McGill and Marianopolis College, and slowly growing with representatives at Concordia.

HC McGill: How does DECA differ from other business/management clubs?

TV: DECA differentiates itself from other business clubs by being one of the few clubs that are inter-faculty, with students from the faculties of Science, Arts and Management. We hold review sessions to cater to students without a management background as part of our training program prior to the competitions. 

HC McGill: So how is one able to become part of DECA Quebec? How did you get involved?

TV: DECA Quebec is actually looking to build their executive team right now! We will be releasing applications on our website soon, or one can otherwise get in touch with me at [email protected]. I was initially involved as an executive of DECA McGill and got to know about DECA Quebec from there. DECA Quebec was established by two previous members of the DECA McGill executive. I was fortunate enough to be working with them and got to learn about the opportunity through them.  

HC McGill: What has being part of DECA taught you and prepared you for your future employment?

TV: One of the biggest assets of DECA has definitely been the professional development side. It gives you the opportunity to network with firms and interact with industry professionals from a range of backgrounds. For example, one of the categories for the case competition was Fashion Merchandising and Marketing, and we had a local boutique designer participate as a judge. So DECA really widens your horizons in the sense that you get the chance to meet professionals from a range of backgrounds despite being a management organization.  

HC McGill: Do you have any new goals or a different take on leading the club this year as the new Co-President of DECA Quebec?

TV: DECA Quebec is very much in its initial stages. Our primary focus for this year will still be to expand across universities in Quebec like UQAM and Laval, and hopefully reach out to CEGEP students too. CEGEP students have shown great potential and interest to practice case competitions. 

HC McGill: Are there any upcoming events that DECA is hosting that the readers would be interested in?

TV: DECA Quebec will be having their annual provincial competition at the end of this academic year, which is our biggest attraction. Other than that, I would say it is the ideal time to get involved with DECA Quebec’s executive team now.

HC McGill: I know that September is a very busy time for U3 students as they are preparing for job recruitments. You must be in the process as well. What are your plans for the future?

TV: Well, I hope to be working in Canada after graduation with Toronto as my first choice. I plan on pursuing a career in finance, but more so in the oil and gas sector. It is a pretty stressful time right now with application deadlines and interviews coming about. It's stressful but it is also a very exciting time because we’re finally stepping into the real world. 

HC McGill: And do you have any advice or tips for other students who are also in the recruitment process?

TV: I guess we are all in the same boat right now, so I don’t know if I’m in any position to give advice. Though if I had to give any, it would be to keep calm and not get overwhelmed. 


Images provided by the interviewee and obtained from http://www.decaq.com/the-team.html


Editor's note: According to President of Deca McGill, Desiree D'Souza, Deca McGill is no longer under the branch of Deca Quebec.