DECA Students Advance to Internationals

Maayuk Eta, Loren Bushyhead and Mizuki Wako place first at DECA CDC

Twelve Inver Hills Community College students competed at the DECA Career Development Conference (CDC) Feb. 19, 2016, at the Marriott Minneapolis Northwest in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Five students will be competing at the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) April 16–19, 2016, at the Renaissance Washington DC Dupont Circle Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., accompanied by Accounting Instructor and DECA Faculty Advisor Anthony Copa.

Minnesota Collegiate DECA provides member students with opportunities to compete in a variety of events at the CDC. Competitions allow students to showcase their competence, innovation, integrity and teamwork. At the ICDC, more than 1,000 Collegiate DECA students apply their hard-earned knowledge and skills across a range of events as they compete to be named an international champion.

Anthony Copa
Anthony Copa

Anthony Copa reported that the DECA students at Inver Hills worked hard this year to prepare for the state competition and participated in a practice competition one week before the CDC.

“Students were given cases in their categories from prior years’ competitions,” Tony said. “Our judges were Inver Hills Accounting and Business faculty as well as Inver alumni and other area business leaders. The judges gave students feedback to help them identify areas to focus on before the formal competition. Our students performed extremely well and I am very proud of them.”

Tony added that DECA provides outstanding opportunities for students to build their self-confidence and improve leadership skills while preparing for real-life business situations.

“Students involved in DECA can network with fellow business students and build lifelong relationships,” he said. “Employers look for demonstrated leadership capabilities in their job candidates. Involvement in DECA offers a significant advantage.”

Inver Hills Collegiate DECA CDC winners

Maayuk Eta (Inver Hills DECA president) and Loren Bushyhead (Inver Hills DECA vice president)
1st Place Business-to-Business Marketing
Mizuki Wako
1st Place Marketing Management
Jin Freeman, Folake Kareem, Keegan Wolf, Loren Bushyhead and Mizuki Wako
3rd Place Management Institute
Mari Morales, Sarangoo Chimedsuren and Lhagi Tsogtbayar (Inver Hills DECA treasurer)
4th Place Financial Analysis

Numerous higher education institutions attended the CDC, including a number of four-year schools as well as two-year colleges:
  • University of Minnesota
  • St. Cloud State University
  • Alexandria Technical & Community College
  • South Central College
  • Ridgewater College
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • Southeast Technical
  • Inver Hills Community College

Collegiate DECA student spotlights

Maayuk Eta
Maayuk Eta
Maayuk Eta
  • Age: 19
  • Hometown: Kumba, Cameroon
    Maayuk came to the U.S. at age 12
  • Current residence: Eagan, Minnesota
  • High school and year graduated: Eagan High School Class of 2014
  • Program and degree at Inver Hills: Associate of Arts (A.A.)
  • Transfer plans: Augsburg College or Washington State University to study marketing
  • Career plans: Leaning toward high-level product marketing at an ad agency
  • What do like best about DECA? “DECA empowers people to follow their dreams.”
  • What is your most memorable experience competing in DECA? “I enjoyed meeting new people, but winning was the best.”
  • What is your greatest strength as a business student? “Perseverance.”
  • Who’s your favorite business leader? Jessica Alba. She started Honest Company.”
  • How would you describe your time at Inver Hills in one word (or two)? “Swing set—because you keep swinging higher and higher until you launch.”
  • Family: One younger brother
  • Pastimes and hobbies: Maayuk writes R & B music. She also runs her own fashion blog, Clair Neriah. She speaks French, English, pidgin English and her native Bayangi—and she’s learning Swahili. Maayuk works as an administrative assistant for the Center for Experiential Learning at the college.
Loren Bushyhead
Loren Bushyhead
Loren Bushyhead
  • Age: 21
  • Hometown: Inver Grove Heights
    At age 18, Loren bought her own home with her sister, Hana.
  • Current residence: St. Paul, Minnesota
  • High school and year graduated: Simley High School Class of 2012
  • Program and degree at Inver Hills: International Business Associate of Science (A.S.) and Paralegal Associate of Science (A.S.)
  • Transfer plans: Hamline University or Carlson School of Management; from there she’s looking at law school either at Hamline, her grandmother taught law at Hamline, or UDC David A. Clarke School of Law in Washington, D.C.; her grandmother went to school at Clarke
  • Career plans: Human rights attorney
  • What do like best about DECA? “DECA builds your confidence by giving you the chance to practice what you’ve been learning. “
  • What is your most memorable experience competing in DECA? “Maayuk and I saved the event party. We worked with the Minnesota Collegiate DECA president and came up with some ideas, including a live Facebook stream and a dance-off.”
  • What is your greatest strength as a business student? “Confident.”
  • Who’s your favorite business leader? Kimberley Motley. She’s a human rights lawyer who works in Afghanistan helping child brides and others who need legal aid.”
  • How would you describe your time at Inver Hills in one word? “Evolving.”
  • Family: Twin sister (fraternal) and one older brother
  • Pastimes and hobbies: Loren’s language buff who speaks German, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Japanese. She belongs to the Cherokee Nation, a tribe with origins in southern Appalachia. She’s also into puzzles of all kinds and once considered a career as a cryptographer. She works as a shift supervisor at CVS while attending Inver Hills.
Mizuki Wako
Mizuki Wako
Mizuki Wako
  • Age: 20
  • Hometown: Sendai City, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture in Japan
    Mizuki experienced the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake, a 9.0 magnitude event. Sendai is just west of the quake’s epicenter. Mizuki was at home. She held onto a wall as things fell all around her.
  • Current residence: Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota
  • High school and year graduated: Sendai Higashi High School Class of 2014
  • Program and degree at Inver Hills: Associate of Arts (A.A.) with many business-related courses
  • Transfer plans: Carlson School of Management to major in marketing and international business
  • Career plans: Return home to Sendai City to help small businesses still recovering from the earthquake
  • What do like best about DECA? “DECA gives you the chance to share ideas and strategies with your fellow business students.”
  • What is your most memorable experience competing in DECA? “I was nervous. My main focus was to present my ideas on marketing management to person judging the event.”
  • What is your greatest strength as a business student? “Working hard.”
  • Who’s your favorite business leader? Peter Drucker. He was a famous management consultant. I got the chance see him teach in California while I was still a high school student.”
  • How would you describe your time at Inver Hills in one word? “Engaging.”
  • Family: Only child
  • Pastimes and hobbies: Mizuki enjoys hanging out with her friends. She works as a peer tutor in the Learning Center, giving lessons on pre-calculus and introductory statistics.

Collegiate DECAJoin DECA fall semester 2016

All Inver Hills students interested in gaining business experience are invited to join DECA in fall semester 2016. Collegiate DECA has more than 15,000 members on 250 campuses across the world. Collegiate DECA members are preparing for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, management and entrepreneurship.

By joining Collegiate DECA, you’ll have numerous opportunities to enhance your business know-how:
  • Extend learning beyond the classroom by participating in community-based events
  • Gain a competitive edge in the global job market
  • Develop strategic decision making and project management skills
  • Network with business and industry experts and nearly 15,000 students and advisors
  • Earn awards and recognition through competition and leadership action

Collegiate DECA student spotlights

Keegan Wolf
Keegan Wolf
Keegan Wolf
  • Age: 18
  • Hometown: Northfield, Minnesota
  • Current residence: Northfield, Minnesota
  • High school and year graduated: Northfield High School Class of 2015
  • Program and degree at Inver Hills: Associate of Arts (A.A.) with many business-related courses
  • Transfer plans: Heading for a four-year college or university, not sure which one, to study entrepreneurship
  • Career plans: Open and manage a small restaurant or coffee shop
  • What do like best about DECA? “I enjoy the challenge.”
  • What is your most memorable experience competing in DECA? “My partner got sick for our Business Ethics presentation. He was also working with another DECA student, Salina Sok, on a different presentation. Salina and I decided to be partners and we worked together to deliver our presentations.”
  • What is your greatest strength as a business student? “Thinking outside the box.”
  • Who’s your favorite business leader? Shark Tank. I like all four shark investors.”
  • How would you describe your time at Inver Hills in one word? “Interesting.”
  • Family: One sister
  • Pastimes and hobbies: Keegan enjoys hanging out with his friends, playing videogames and flying drones. He works at a grocery store in Northfield while attending Inver Hills.

 

T.J. Pirko
T.J. Pirko
T.J. Pirko
  • Age: 21
  • Hometown: West St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Current residence: West St. Paul, Minnesota
  • High school: Henry Sibley High School
  • Program and degree at Inver Hills: Contemporary Business Associate of Science (A.S.); already earned his Marketing and Sales Certificate
  • Transfer plans: Metropolitan State University to a bachelor’s degree in marketing
  • Career plans: Secure a marketing position in the Twin Cities, preferably St. Paul; interested in working on marketing and advertising plans as well as marketing surveys and analysis
  • What do like best about DECA? “I love networking and meeting new people. DECA gives me the chance to expand my networking circle.”
  • What is your most memorable experience competing in DECA? “I brought a game called Cards Against Humanity. I played with people I just met and had a lot of fun.”
  • What is your greatest strength as a business student? “Energy and the capacity to create new ideas. Many of my ideas can be far-fetched or crazy, but that comes from being a unique person.”
  • Who’s your favorite business leader? “Gerry Swarsensky, an accounting instructor at Inver Hills. Gerry taught me everything I know about accounting. He showed me how to laugh at the lighter side of business and work.”
  • How would you describe your time at Inver Hills in one word? “Amazing.”
  • Family: Only child
  • Pastimes and hobbies: T.J. likes playing videogames; he’s currently exploring the open world of Fallout 4 and thinks that might be the best game he’s ever played. He enjoys swing dancing and regularly goes to the Wabasha Street Caves on Thursday nights. “Swing dancing is skill-based,” he said. “You’ve got to learn the footwork and turns, and how to lead.”
To learn more about DECA at Inver Hills, contact:

Anthony Copa
Accounting Faculty
DECA Faculty Advisor
651-450-3865
Office: Business Building 224

To learn more about Business programs at Inver Hills, contact:

Hamid Kazeroony
Business Faculty
651-450-3474
Office: Business Building 225
Admissions Team
651-450-3000
College Center

To learn more about earning your Associate of Arts (A.A.) at Inver Hills, contact:

Admissions Team
651-450-3000
College Center

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