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Huntsman DECA Students on the International Stage

May  2018

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The Huntsman DECA team made a big impression on the collegiate stage, taking 2nd place at the 2018 International DECA Competition, held in Washington D.C. The Huntsman team also received the 2nd place overall chapter award in the management cluster category.

The Huntsman DECA team, in existence for only its second year, showed the 275 collegiate DECA chapters that Huntsman students can compete with students from any university at any time.

DECA Competition Participants and winners possing with their trophies.

Since its foundation in 1946, the international DECA organization has focused on preparing students for future business careers through rigorous tests and prestigious case competitions. Professor Alex Romney, advisor for the Huntsman chapter stated, that “The most important outcome is leadership development. From putting on events, representing the university, to helping fellow students prepare for their competitions, leadership plays a central role in everything that this organization does. These students are taking action to influence others towards a common goal. That’s what leadership is, and what we desperately need more of in today’s world. That is, people who aren’t afraid to establish a vision and are willing to take initiative to share that vision and work hard with others to see it fulfilled.”

Alex Hall, member of the three-person team that took 2nd in the Entrepreneurship event, noted that “It was really rewarding to take the things that we were learning in the Huntsman School and apply them to business plans, in what some would call, ‘the real world’.” Hall continued by describing a valuable experience he and his team had as they were prepping for their event. He related that “part of our business plan involved financial statements. Some of the required content was based on topics that we hadn’t yet learned in our accounting course. So, we decided to go talk with Frank Shuman, our accounting professor. He was an amazing help! Frank was able to explain concepts to us that we hadn’t even talked about in class yet."

This type of mentoring by faculty members is part of the culture at the Huntsman School. For these students, this DECA competition embodied many core aspects of the Huntsman experience including academic rigor beyond the classroom and opportunities for professional development.