On 13 November 2015, students from all over Toronto gathered at Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute to compete at the DECA regional competition. DECA is an international business competition that has over 215 000 members worldwide. The regional competition is the first step to qualifying for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC), next April, where students will network and compete for international titles in Nashville, Tenassee.

Students in Individuals Series, Team Decision Making, and Principles of Business Administration Events competed on Friday to qualify for the provincial competition, which occurs in February. These events consist of an online exam, completed two weeks prior, and a roleplay. Individuals have ten minutes to devise a solution to a problem and prepare a ten minute-long presentation, while teams have thirty minutes to prepare for a fifteen minute-long presentation. Students were evaluated based on the content of their roleplays and explanations of Performance Indicators.

40 students from MGCI competed at DECA regionals this year.

40 students from MGCI competed at DECA regionals this year. Photo courtesy of Cindy Zeng.

Of the 40 students that participated, 25 students won Top 10 either in the exam or the roleplay, or both, and ten students placed top three in their categories. These winners included DECA president Cindy Zeng, who placed 2nd in Food Marketing Services, Rafiq Habib, who received 1st place in Business Services Marketing, Sherrie Cheng, who finished in 1st place in Apparel and Accessories Marketing, and Jessica Fung and Cindy Cui, who won 1st place in Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making Event.  In addition, Grade 12 students Mackenzie Wong, Victor Yu and Jerry Yang competed in the Hotel Virtual Business Challenge, an online business simulation, and placed 2nd out of 208 teams. As one of the top two teams in the region, they automatically qualify for the International Career Development Conference next April.

Garneau’s DECA president, Cindy Zeng, said that “It was great to see everybody’s hard work pay off! Our chapter is really strong this year, and I have high hopes for Provincials.” Over the past three years, the DECA chapter has only been growing stronger. These results have been unprecedented in recent competitions. As Cindy put it, “It’s definitely a cause for celebration. Our members are first going to take a well-deserved break, then back to practice in a week or so. This year will be our year!”