The Confidence to Compete

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DECA and BPA Club Members Live and Learn Professionalism

Two clubs, two trips to compete on the world’s stage, and more than 26 national awards. Northwood University’s Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) and Business Professionals of America (BPA) made their mark in national competition this past spring. All 13 of NU’s DECA team members placed at the California competition, with four finishing as Top 10 Finalists. At BPA nationals in Orlando, 13 Northwood students drew honors.

The clubs have rich history on campus with an active DECA club since 1984 and BPA since 1998. Combined, that’s five decades of facilitating student growth and giving participants an edge in the job market.

One of the ways that Northwood students learn by doing, the experience of high-level competition has left a mark on the students who competed, as well.

Joseph P. Walsh, 20, came to Northwood after his high-school DECA experience won him dedicated scholarships.

“What you put in is what you get out of it. Nationals really showed me that,” he said.

“Joseph’s leadership was, in large part, responsible for the success of the workshops and the great success of the high school students that attended them,” said John Gustincic, adviser to the club.

Nineteen students from Northwood’s BPA chapter competed at nationals in Orlando, Fla., with 13 placing.

“When you go to Nationals, you’re meeting so many people from different states,” said Ex, an Oxford, Mich., native and Finance major. “You’re competing in events that relate to our major and is pushing us farther into our field.”

“There is a lot of incentive to participate,” said Taylor, a native of Escanaba, Mich. “Northwood dedicates scholarships to BPA participants and officers. Also, BPA members can receive national certification in Microsoft programs such as Access, Excel, and Word.”

Taylor says the presentation experience also helped him develop skills he will soon need for his career.

Headline Photo Caption:  Northwood's Mock Trial team chalked up another successful season, advancing to the American Mock Trial Association’s Regional Tournament in Ohio. One team qualified for the opening round of the championship series in Ohio.