DECA at Bellevue College has won the state competition this year, moving on to nationals for the team’s third consecutive year. Bellevue DECA took nationals successfully the previous two years of competition at the International Career Development Conference and this year they are hopeful to continue the streak. Last year DECA took 23 students to ICDC nationals with 16 making it to finals. This year 35 students are going to nationals and Kyle Barber, head of DECA at Bellevue College and program chair of the marketing department, is hoping to continue the success.
“It all depends on how each student is in comparison, and whether they are ready to be the best in the country,” said Barber. “State competition was only a few months ago in late February and in the wake of so much to celebrate the team is eager to continue moving forward and take home the title of national champions.”
Shoreline Community College has been the main competition for Bellevue College and has a history of being the best team in Washington. However, for the past two years Bellevue College has held the title. Approximately 100 students signed up for DECA this year and Barber believes numbers will only help in the future of the school’s competitions.
“We beat schools like Gonzaga and Western because there are, besides winning individual awards and different events, also team awards,” said Barber. “We were designated the best school in marketing, we were the best school in business, we were the best school in entrepreneurship, we were the best school in hospitality. We didn’t get top marks in finance, so we’re actively hoping to find more financial students in accounting or corporate finance.”
BC DECA had a greater number of students sign up this year than previous years, and a large portion of students who signed up were international students. According to Barber, approximately 35 to 45 percent of students who join DECA collegiate are international students. Barber sees many students sign up for DECA hoping to gain the necessary skills to succeed in the workplace, as well as international students wishing to hone their speaking skills. He says that DECA has consistently been a program that is especially welcoming to students who wish to succeed in their future careers.
Barber was formerly the senior vice president of digital marketing for McCann, a global advertising agency network. Through his experience in the company as well as participating in forensics and debate when he was younger, he learned the value of extracurricular activities, seeing them as extremely pertinent to the growth of the students. Bryson Suen, one of the officers of DECA, spoke highly of the collegiate program and even stated that he sees the program as a very strong opportunity in his fellow students and his future career.
“Historically Bellevue College has always done incredibly well, especially given our size compared to many of the other attending schools,” said Suen. “Additionally, this year we have a lot of new members who are excited to represent the college at such a high level of competition. The conference itself presents a fantastic learning and networking opportunity as we get to interact with many high level executives in varying areas of business.”
The perks that come along with going on to nationals for ICDC includes a trip to Los Angeles and both the students and the faculty are excited to see some sun. “I also think it goes without saying,” Suen continued. “With LA and Disneyland right next door, we’re looking at a very fun and exciting couple of days.”
Bellevue DECA will be going to regionals in Los Angeles from April 19 through 23 this year. For more information about joining BC DECA, contact Kyle Barber at firstname.lastname@example.org.