UW-Madison Collegiate DECA: The New Power House in Wisconsin

For those of you who haven’t heard of DECA, it is an organization of marketing and business students across both high schools and colleges not only across the country but across the globe. The collegiate division is made up of 275 chapters with roughly 15,000 students. DECA focuses on being academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible and creating experienced leaders. One of the largest components of DECA is the business case study competition component. 

Although UW-Madison’s is a fairly young chapter, both in age and in longevity, this has been noted as the best performance at a state conference in chapter history. The state competition team this year was composed of 16 freshmen, 10 sophomores and 2 juniors. The size of the state team itself doubled that of last year’s and so did the success. All 28 competitors qualified for the International Career Development Conference that will take place this April in Orlando, Florida. 

Competition is broken up into three categories: individual series events, team events, and prepared business events. In the individual case studies, students take a 100-question cluster exam in either finance, marketing, hospitality, entrepreneurship or business management. In addition to this, students also present a case study revolving around analyzing financial statements, creating a marketing plan, and hiring employees, amongst other things. A second case study is presented if the student makes it to finals. Team events are made up of two people who initially present one case study, with a second in the final stage of the competition. In prepared business events, students have the opportunity to compose 15-paged business plans, create a sales presentation, and research businesses. 

UW-Madison will be represented by 22 students this April in Orlando, Florida for the international competition. This event is known as the pinnacle of all DECA conferences and brings in 1,500 of the best students from all over the world to the heart of Orlando. In addition to having all 28 competitors qualify, Alexis O’Connell, the chapter president, and Zach McGovern, the chapter’s Vice President of Program Development, were elected as Wisconsin Collegiate DECA State Vice Presidents. Notable Accomplishments include 11 first place winners and 10 other top three finishes.  If you’d like to help support their trip, please visit  https://www.gofundme.com/decageneralfund to donate.