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Open for business: OSU welcomes student-led DECA chapter

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Since the start of his college career, Carter Schubert, a junior studying management information systems, made it his mission to establish a collegiate chapter of DECA (formerly Distributive Education Clubs of America) at OSU. Kyla Ellis, a freshman hospitality and tourism management major, came to college with the same goal. The two, in conjunction with other business students and faculty, have made that dream a reality, and OSU’s new DECA chapter is now in full swing. 

“DECA is an internationally recognized student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in business principles. OSU DECA strives to fulfill these goals by giving each of our members opportunities to compete at the state and national level, hold leadership positions and participate in community service activities,” Ellis said.

DECA is more prevalent in high schools, with 3,700 chapters nationwide, while only 200 reside on college campuses.

The OSU DECA chapter became an official campus organization on Oct. 14, 2020. Connor Terry, an academic adviser in the Spears School of Business, serves as the adviser for the 24-member chapter.

The club held its first meeting for all members on Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Business Building and will continue to meet biweekly on Thursdays at the same time. Anyone with a declared business major or minor is encouraged to join.

“It’s a business club to bring like-minded students together and to help them increase their career preparedness,” said Schubert. 

DECA gives students networking and educational opportunities to help set them up for success in the workforce, while also granting them the opportunity to form lifelong friendships.

Membership activities include attendance of biweekly meetings and participation in competitions, community service projects and other engagement opportunities. Students will be able to choose from a variety of competitive events, depending on their area of interest. These areas include entrepreneurship, hospitality and tourism, finance, accounting, management and marketing. Competitions will be held virtually this year due to COVID-19. 

Founders Ellis and Schubert serve as president and vice president of hospitality, respectively. The chapter’s other officers are Madelyn Lindsey, vice president of career development; Grace Gunderson, vice president of finance; Nicole Renaud, vice president of marketing and Kate Barclay, vice president of leadership.

“DECA can be a very good way, especially for business, yet undecided majors to go try out a bunch of different things and see what they’re really interested in,” said Schubert.