Four DECA Students Heading for Internationals

Students competed at State Career Development Conference • February 15–16, 2018

The Minnesota Collegiate DECA team at Inver Hills Community College competed at the State Career Development Conference (SCDC) February 15–16, 2018, at the Sheraton Minneapolis West in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

The SCDC provides college students with diverse opportunities to gain experience competing through real-life business scenarios in an environment designed to deliver feedback for professional and academic growth.

Experienced industry professionals work directly with students in a judged format. Students earn recognition during mini-awards and grand award sessions. During competitions, students are given one hour to prepare a solution to a given case study. Each competitor then meets with a judge to present the real-life case study for grading based on the interaction.

Inver Hills DECA SCDC results

  • Alyssa Hayden and Trinh Pham: Event Planning: 4th place
  • Alyssa Hayden: Hotel and Lodging: 4th place
  • Shelby Clausen: Accounting: 7th place
  • Dillon Dale: Cooperate Finance: 4th place: 1st place in written test portion
  • Britta Neumann: Accounting: 11th place
  • Tony Pineda: Accounting: 11th place
  • Jadé Milton: Retail Management: 4th place
  • Zach Ward and Jadé Milton: Sports Management: 4th place

Alyssa Hayden, president of DECA at Inver Hills, was elected Collegiate DECA state president at the SCDC. Alyssa also placed in two events, Hotel and Lodging, and Event Planning, the latter competition with teammate, Trinh Pham.

“Dillon Dale, our club treasurer, Jadé Milton, our vice president of communication, Britta Neumann, a club member, and I will be going to the International Career Development Conference near Washington, D.C., in mid-April,” Alyssa said. “We would love to send more members as everyone qualified at the state level, but we don’t have the funds.”

Alyssa added that Inver Hills DECA will create a fundraising plan after spring break with the goal to send more members to the ICDC.

Trinh Pham, Shelby Clausen, Alyssa Hayden, Zach Ward, Nick Altendorfer, Antonio Pineda, Jadé Milton
Trinh Pham, Shelby Clausen, Alyssa Hayden, Zach Ward, Nick Altendorfer, Antonio Pineda, Jadé Milton

International Career Development Conference (ICDC)

April 11–14, 2018
Crystal Gateway Marriott
Arlington, Virginia

The International Career Development Conference (ICDC) gives college students the chance to experience real-life business scenarios in a competitive environment designed to provide feedback and avenues for growth. The ICDC also offers Professional Development Academies, career exhibits and networking opportunities as well as international recognition for competitors.

Conference overview

DECA student spotlights

Alyssa Hayden

Inver Collegiate DECA President
Alyssa Hayden
Alyssa Hayden, DECA President

A 2016 graduate of American School, a distance-learning high school, Alyssa Hayden is pursuing her Associate of Arts (A.A.) at Inver Hills and is on schedule to graduate December 2018. Alyssa plans to transfer to Augsburg University and double-major in communications studies and marketing. After earning her bachelor’s degrees, she has plans to pursue a Master of Arts in Leadership.

Alyssa would love to start a nonprofit, work in higher education or work in public relations. Growing up, she always wanted to be a reporter, but that changed when she was a freshman in high school. She chose marketing and communications because of all the different career path opportunities.

How would you describe your time at Inver Hills in one word?
Life-changing.

Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Alyssa commutes to Inver Hills from Prescott, Wisconsin. She has received two scholarships at Inver, a $1,000 Ellen McGee Scholarship and her Travelers EDGE award, which includes $1,000 a semester and continued help paying her tuition at Augsburg.

Alyssa is a single mom with a 3-year-old daughter, Jacelyn. Alyssa’s boyfriend, Dillon Dale, is double-majoring in accounting and finance at Augsburg; he also takes a class at Inver Hills and is DECA treasurer. Alyssa has a shelter-cat named Mittens, who has thumbs on his front paws. She has two younger sisters, Alexis, 15, and Adelyn, 7.

In her free time, Alyssa enjoys reading novels by James Patterson and Sarah Dessen. She loves traveling and has recently completed road trips to a number of U.S. states, including Florida, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Iowa and Georgia as well as the country of Mexico.

Alyssa Hayden Q & A

What do like best about DECA?
What I like most about DECA is not just one thing. I love meeting new people from around the world, making professional connections at the mixers, getting a chance to be a leader and work together as a group, as well as getting an opportunity to critically think and be competitive. Being able to travel is a huge perk as well!

What is your most memorable experience competing in DECA?
My most memorable experience competing in DECA was last year when our group got to go to nationals in Anaheim, California. Nationals was so different than state. It was a lot bigger and a lot more competitive. It was way harder than I thought it was going to be. I would say that’s a good thing, though, because it gave me the opportunity to learn new things and grow as a competitor.

What is your greatest strength as a business student?
I think my greatest strength as a business student is my ability to think on my feet and think outside the box. Thinking outside the box is great because you want to be able to come up with new ideas and ways of doing things in the business world, but you also need to be able to think quickly. I think that’s something DECA has helped me with.

Another great strength I possess is communication skills. In business, communication is key to making deals. DECA has helped me strengthen those skills. Going out and explaining an idea I just thought up in 30 minutes to a person I have never met with confidence is a great skill asset in my opinion.

Who’s your favorite business leader?
Mandi Simon. Mandi was actually a 7-year-old entrepreneur in Minnesota. She started the nonprofit, Simon Says Give. She wanted to give birthdays to children who couldn’t afford them. So, the nonprofit gives birthdays in a box to children in need. Children can volunteer with the nonprofit and become leaders of their community. I am really big into leadership, community, giving back, and nonprofits. This little girl goes to show you don’t need a lot to give back—just an idea and determination!

Dillon Dale

Inver Collegiate DECA Treasurer
Dillon Dale
Dillon Dale, Deca Treasurer

Dillon Dale, 22, is originally from Mankato, Minnesota. Dillon graduated from Mankato West High School in 2014. He is taking general education courses at Inver Hills while earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Accounting from Metropolitan State University.

Dillon is looking forward to a career in corporate accounting. He would eventually like to become a chief financial officer (CFO) or comptroller at a major firm. A comptroller is the chief accountant for a private company or government agency.

How would you describe your time at Inver Hills in one word?
Incredible.

Dillon commutes to Inver Hills and Metro State from Prescott, Wisconsin. His girlfriend, Alyssa Hayden, attends Inver Hills and is DECA president at the college.

In his free time, Dillon enjoys playing golf in northern Minnesota—he has a 10 handicap. He also likes to go pan-fishing. He has two brothers, 20, who are fraternal twins.

Dillon Dale Q & A

What do like best about DECA?
You learn a lot about business. You also gain confidence communicating in a business setting.

What is your most memorable experience competing in DECA?
I placed fourth in corporate finance at the 2018 SCDC. I had a lot of fun competing. My favorite part was giving my presentation to the judges. You do role-playing to simulate realities in a business situation and apply what you’ve learned in school.

What is your greatest strength as a business student?
My analytical skills—math is my favorite subject.

Who’s your favorite business leader?
Robert Kiyosaki, millionaire founder of Rich Dad Company.

Jadé Milton

Inver Collegiate DECA Vice President of Communication
Jadé Milton
Jadé Milton

A South St. Paul High School graduate, class of 2016, Jadé Milton is pursuing her Associate of Arts (A.A.) at Inver Hills and is on track to graduate May 2018. Jadé belongs to TRIO Student Support Services at Inver and serves as a TRIO mentor.

She has plans to transfer to Minnesota State University Mankato or the University of Minnesota Morris after graduating from Inver Hills. She is looking forward to earning a B.S. and eventually an M.S. in sport management. During the summer of 2018, she will be completing a sports management internship.

Jadé would like to work for the Minnesota Lynx one day, but is open to other opportunities. She is the assistant volleyball coach at the Westside Boys & Girls Club in the Twin Cities.

How would you describe your time at Inver Hills in one word?
Spectacular

Jadé loves to sing and she is into hip hop, R & B and country rock. She is also learning to play guitar. She enjoys playing volleyball and hanging out with family and friends. One of her favorite pastimes is Aztec Danza.

She resides in Inver Grove Heights and has three younger sisters ages 17, 7 and 1.

Jadé Milton Q & A

What do like best about DECA?
DECA is community-based and our members support each other. We cheer each other on and help each other succeed.

What is your most memorable experience competing in DECA?
I placed fourth in Retail Management at the SCDC and really enjoyed the experience.

What is your greatest strength as a business student?
I have strong social skills. I’m pretty good at communicating and problem-solving. I know how to get my point across.

Who’s your favorite business leader?
Oprah.

To learn more about Collegiate DECA at Inver Hills, contact:

Todd Jagerson
Chief Information Officer
Collegiate DECA Faculty Advisor
651-450-3373

Alyssa Hayden
Collegiate DECA President

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