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Bellevue University Graduate Student Places in Top 10 of Collegiate DECA Competition


Bellevue University graduate student Brittany Keating recently competed in the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC), placing sixth in her category in the Business Research competition. 

DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. 

The Business Research category in which Keating competed provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate business and marketing research skills needed by management personnel. 

Students work with an existing local business or organization to conduct business and marketing research about a specific topic with the ultimate goal of improving an area of the business.  

Keating created a proposal for her current employer, Walt Disney World, and shared her proposal with the judges.

“I felt that I had the background and insight that could help obtain the information that I needed for this proposal,” said Keating, who is enrolled in Bellevue University through the Disney Aspire program. Through the program, Disney pays 100% tuition up front for a variety of education programs including college degrees. Bellevue University is part of Guild’s academic network. 

Keating, who has competed in DECA since high school, went on to share just how challenging the competition is. 

“There were times that I received nearly perfect scores and did not make it to finals,” said Keating. 

DECA competition includes all types of educational levels and experiences. This year's competition had around 1,300 attendees and 20 teams.

Within Collegiate DECA there are about 25 different events involving individual case studies, team case studies and prepared business presentations. Keating said that due to the variety of work and educational backgrounds, the Business Research category is the most competitive aspect because you never know who you are up against. 

“You could do an amazing job, but someone just did it a little better,” Keating said. “It’s a very real-world experience.”

In high school competitions, Keating had placed in the top at district competitions, but she had not made it to state competition. In college, she placed at state, but never made it to the finals. After years of hard work she feels good about finally placing in the top 10.

“The competition is very real, but to make it on stage at the closing ceremony, that feeling is irreplaceable,” Keating said.

In addition to the competitions, Collegiate DECA provides opportunities for students to practice professional speaking, network, and obtain leadership experience. DECA has over 4,000 collegiate members and 197 chapters preparing emerging leaders and entrepreneurs.

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