Over two thousand high school students from across Toronto braved the cold and snowy weather to attend the annual DECA Toronto Regionals competition on 16 November 2018. This high school business competition began at around 9:00 am at Cedarbrae CI and the day was filled with case studies, workshops, and awards. Eighty-two students from the MGCI DECA chapter went into the competition hoping to perform well and make it to the next stage of competition, the DECA Ontario Provincial competition in February next year.

A student accepts his award onstage. Image: Russell Ijaya

The Toronto Regionals competition featured three different categories of events: Individual Series, Principles of Business Administration, and Team Decision Making. Individual and Principles events are categories where a single person competes. The difference is that Principles events are restricted to only first year DECA members. On the other hand, Team events are conducted in pairs and have no other restrictions.

Each of the above events consisted of two parts: an online multiple choice exam and a role play case study. The multiple choice exam was written earlier on 31 October, meaning Regionals consisted of only the role play presentation.

Along with competition in Individual, Principles, and Team events, Regionals also hosted workshops for competitors in Written events. Written events are structured differently from the other three as they require a preparation presentation and report, can have up to three members per team, and they only take place at Provincials in February. This was the first year that DECA Ontario implemented workshops at Regionals for Written events and it allowed competitors to get involved much earlier in the year.

A Grade 9 student practices his roleplay before competing. Image: Russell Ijaya

This year, DECA Ontario made several changes to the format of the competition in the attempt to make the scoring system more fair. In past years, the final rankings were determined based on the combined score of exam and role play. However, as judges mark differently, large deviances in judges’ scores may have prevented competitive applicants from advancing. To address this issue, DECA Ontario made the change to rank competitors by judge. Each judge in an event would evaluate up to twelve different competitors and the top overall performer in each judge’s section would be recognized.

Prior to the competition, MGCI DECA members attended multiple meetings and training sessions. Training resources were released in early October in order to help chapter members better prepare for the competition. The MGCI DECA Chapter also made changes to their training program in order to better meet the needs of every individual. Russell Ijaya, the president of MGCI DECA, said that the chapter decided to “forego the majority of chapter-wide meetings in preference of training group meetings. The smaller groups made communication clearer.”

The new training format had a positive impact on MGCI’s results from the competition. The students from MGCI won a total of ninety-four awards this year compared to only sixty-four at last year’s Regionals. Waleed Khalid, a Grade 12 student from MGCI who competed in the Financial Services Team Decision Making event credited his team’s success to his previous training sessions: “We had seen a demonstration and had a better overall idea of what to expect and to do. Next, our roleplay session with two trainers and their feedback was really helpful and ongoing conversations with execs served as a confidence boost, which definitely helped.”

Aside from the competition, the Toronto Regionals allowed many high school students from across the entire school board to gather in one place and it was an opportunity to network as well. When asked about her overall experience, Taira Mehta, a Grade 9 student who competed in Sports and Entertainment Marketing event said, “The competition – was possibly one of the most memorable experiences I have ever encountered. Whether it be from getting to know and make connections with others outside of grade 9, or the ridiculous amount of effort the execs went through to make sure I didn’t fail, I had a blast.”

Although many of the students enjoyed the overall atmosphere of Regionals, there were several students who felt that the organization of the competition was not up to standard. The schedule given to the students did not match that of the actual event, which resulted in many students doing their role play at unexpected times as well as the awards ceremonies being delayed. Furthermore, MGCI DECA Executive Eric Shang commented that he was disappointed by the “mismanagement of the slideshow [in the awards ceremony], the lack of music and an overall general lack of engagement from the audience.” Other competitors also said that they thought the the awards ceremonies did not meet the high standards of previous years.

The Reckoner acknowledges the following students for their achievements at the 2018 DECA Toronto Regionals competition. Final results from Regionals will be released on 26 November, determining the qualifiers for Provincials competition.

 

Individuals Series Category

Alex Guo (AAM)  – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Eric Shang (BSM) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Helen Lin (ENT) – Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Max Lu (FMS) – Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Andrew Li (MCS) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Eric Wang (PFL) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

David Walji (RMS) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Taira Mehta (SEM) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Amy Chen (ACT) – Top 10 Exam

Harry Zhao (ACT) – Top 10 Exam

Rong Tao Luo (ASM) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section

Jeffrey Qiu (ASM)  – Top 10 Exam

Harrison Chiu (BFS) – Top 2 Roleplay in Section

Jim Wu (BFS) – Top 2 Roleplay in Section

Charmaine Chang (FMS) – Top 10 Exam

Miranda Guo (HLM) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section

Russell Ijaya (HRM) – Top 10 Exam

Ivy Lin (MCS) – Top 2 Roleplay in Section

 

Principles of Business Administration Category

Daniel Neagu (PBM) – Top 10 Exam, Top Overall in Section

Aimee Li (PBM) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Ivy Sun (PFN) – Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Brenan Srisatkuru (PHT) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Amely Su (PHT) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Kelly Wang (PMK) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Evan Woo (PMK) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Maimuna Akhter (PFN) – Top 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section

Saesha Kukreja (PHT) – Top 2 Roleplay in Section

Derek Nguyen (PMK) – Rop 10 Exam, Top 2 Roleplay in Section

 

Team Decision Making Category

Emma Wai and Jessica Zhu (BLTDM) – Top 10 Exam (Emma), Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Wendi Zhang and Emily Shen (BTDM) – Top 10 Exam (Both), Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Hargun Kaur and Abirami Sivakanthan (FTDM) – Top 10 Exam (Hargun), Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Ryan Chang and Tina Ma (HTDM) – Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Eric Zhao and Austin Lin (MTDM)- Top 10 Exam (Eric), Top 2 Roleplay in Section

Waleed Khalid and Shameer Rehman (FTDM) – Top 2 Roleplay in Section

Tom Liu and Jason Cai (STDM) – Top 10 Exam (Both), Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Justin Ye and Grace Xiong (TTDM) – Top 10 Exam (Both), Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Angela Pang and Laura Lu (TTDM) – Top 10 Exam (Angela), Top 2 Roleplay in Section, Top Overall in Section

Simhon Chourasia and Sarvesh Sivakumar (FTDM) – Top 10 Exam (Both), Top 2 Roleplay in Section

Serena Meng (HTDM) – Top 10 Exam

Katherine Ma and Jenny Bai (MTDM) – Top 10 Exam (Both), Top 2 Roleplay in Section

Joshua Xiao (STDM) – Top 10 Exam

Bodrul Alam and Mohammad Aldawaghreh (STDM) – Top 2 Roleplay in Section

Jacqueline Huo (TTDM) – Top 10 Exam