Published on March 12, 2016 | by Michelle Bedley Photography by DECAU0
Guelph-Humber’s DECA team wins big at provincials
Guelph-Humber’s DECA team won five awards showing off the business student’s talent.
At the provincial competition, 90 Guelph-Humber students attended the competition at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto on January 15-17th.
DECA is a business case competition where students compete in three different categories to solve both real and simulated problems.
This year’s provincials saw 20 universities using examples that included retail management, human resources and advertising.
Vice president of DECA training Parisa Khazra has been a part of the team for three years and been to provincials twice, so she’s no stranger to competing at that level and took home two awards.
Khazra faced a human resources case and played the role of an HR director within a company that was facing backlash for strict leave of absence policies.
“I had to find a way to address the situation, what policies to change, how to improve this is the future and how the company would apologize,” said third-year student, Khazra.
Students are handed a specific case and have 15 minutes to prepare two 10-minute presentations. They also have to complete a written multiple-choice test.
Khazra won second overall in human resources category and won third on her individual presentation.
In addition to her two awards, the team won three more to bring the university up to five for the weekend.
Students who attend DECA provincials will pay a fee of $230 to enter and compete but that’s partially refunded by the school depending on where a student places.
Assistant Program Head of Business at the University of Guelph-Humber Justin Medakiewicz said that Guelph-Humber’s DECA team has placed in the top three 16 throughout all the competitions held this year.
“It builds the reputation of the university, which is tremendous- it also allows our students to solidify their knowledge of the subject areas and allows them to network with their peers,” said Medakiewicz.
Third-year business student and DECA member Nina Erceg-Gogic participated in provincials in an advertising special case for the Canadian Blood Services but did not place.
Erceg-Gogic said that she decided to join DECA at first to help with her presentation skills and ended up realizing that the team was a chance to apply classroom theories to real situations.
“School prepares you for the award, and it shows off the school in a better light- its also great for employers to see you aren’t just school smart, you can apply that to a real life situation,” said Erceg-Gogic.
Medakiewicz said that in some instances students have been interviewed or received jobs from their performance in a case competition.
Khazra also said that DECA provincials are the best opportunity to impress sponsors, like Canadian Blood Services, who could potentially hire students.
“If you go in and do a presentation for an HR manager of a company…it shows them the depth of knowledge you have without having to go through an application process and hoping they’ll find yours,” said Khazra.
Khazra said that the most important thing about DECA is that it’s an opportunity for growth.
“Being the VP of training, I get to see first year students get better and better scores and realize their potential, and that’s why provincials are so important for our school,” said Khazra.
DECA provincials are the biggest competition of the year, said Khazra, and winning two awards means being recognized for her hard work as vice president of training and the school’s abilities.
Guelph-Humber’s DECA team will be competing in various internal and external case competitions throughout the year including national and international events in British Columbia and New Jersey later this year.