Putting Notre Dame on the DECA Map
Written by Emily Nobes, Student at Notre Dame Catholic Secondary.

It all began in September 2018, when ND DECA called the first meeting of its second year at Notre Dame. Right off the bat, the group was bigger and hungry for the Competition. We trained hard for weeks, pouring over vocabulary and trial exams, polishing our handshakes and introductions, and committing 'Performance Indicators' to heart. On November 24, we charged into battle, pulling up to Iroquois Ridge High School to compete in the Hamilton Regionals Competition, striving towards a spot at the Provincial level. The day was full of fierce competition, and by the end of the day, Notre Dame’s 2019 DECA Provincials team was determined, and that’s when the real fun began.

Every year, DECA Ontario holds its prestigious 'Provincial’s Competition' in the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. So, on February 8th,  2019, the team (comprised of Camila Izquierdo, Matthew Kampe, Ben Korol, Emily Nobes, Radi Oumer, Jonathan Paduch, David Pires, and Arjun Snider, accompanied by Mr Giusti and Mrs Elzbieciak), boarded the  6am train for Union Station to participate.

Two members, David and Jonathan, had the opportunity to participate in a full day leadership seminar that the organization hosts for future DECA leaders.  “While at the seminar I met students from across the province.” said David, “I learned about the different aspects of leadership, the importance of leaders in society and how to improve my own leadership skills.”

Outside of the Leadership Conference, Competitive Roleplay events ran all day, from 8am-5pm to be exact. To break it down quickly, for all competitors competing in Individual Oral events, everyone was assigned two call times at which they competed, each including 10 minutes to read the case study and prepare, and then 10 minutes to present. Team Oral Events only competed once, with 30 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to present. Written events competed once as well, giving a 15 minutes presentation based on their meticulously pre-prepared report outlining their business plan.

“DECA Provincials was an amazing experience competing in the Financial Team Decision Making event.” said Radi, “I got to learn new things with my DECA teammate and see the amount of talent that everyone in the competition brings. It was great both competing in my event and getting to meet other students from around Ontario interested in what DECA has to offer.”

Another aspect of the competition is a 100 question multiple choice exam. All competition clusters aside from Marketing wrote their exams prior to the event using an online platform. The marketing cluster, however, wrote on February 9th, filling up an entire ballroom. After that exam concluded, the tallying begun, and awards ready to be handed to their very deserving recipients.

With the competition cubicles cleared out and the strobe lights set to high, the excitement and energy in the awards room is hard to describe, and something that should be experienced.

The first ceremony was fruitful, awarding first time International Business written event competitor Camila Izquierdo a top 8 finish, making her a Provincial Champion and eligible ICDC competitor. DECA hasn’t seen the end of her, and she’ll be off to Orlando, Florida in April to compete for the coveted DECA Glass at the International level.

“DECA was a wonderful experience that helped me to use the business knowledge that I learned in class towards a real-life situation.” said Camila, “It was interesting and challenging to create my own international business plan since I was able to link different aspects of business into one project. What made it even more exciting was the multiple competitions that allowed me to bring my work to life and compete against other students who are passionate about business too!”

Ceremony number two brought more triumph. Arjun Snider took home a Top 20 medal in his first Roleplay event, and a top 20 finish overall. Matthew Kampe finished top 20 in his first roleplay event, a top 20 finish overall, and a top 8 finish, also earning the title of Provincial Champion.

Lastly came the Marketing Awards, leaving Emily Nobes with a Top 20 finish in her first roleplay. Notre Dame DECA has never seen so many members on the Provincial’s stage, and there’s only more to come.


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