Marketing students experience competitive and real world success
Each spring, the South Carolina DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) chapter hosts its annual Career Development Conference in Charleston, SC. The conference agenda keeps students quite busy as they are expected to attend meetings, participate in workshops, elect officers, visit exhibit booths and compete for an opportunity to represent the state of South Carolina at the international DECA conference.
Students have to take an objective test online and participate in a role-playing situation related to their event. Advanced preparation at the school level includes taking paper and computer tests, completing class assignments, and participating in role-playing situations with peers, staff, and volunteers from the community. This year, approximately 600 students competed at the state conference. Only students placing in the top ten were recognized with a certificate and medallion during the awards banquet.
Among the students representing the Darlington County Institute of Technology (DCIT) at this year’s state DECA Competition in Charleston were Cade Cassidy (Junior, MHS) and Jacque Jett (Senior, DHS). Cade was the Entrepreneur and Jacque the Marketing Consultant in the Business Growth Plan Team Event. In the competition, the team placed third, but for Cade, this was not just a competition. Cassidy has a business license for his new Entrepreneurial business, Semper Fi Industries, Inc. which specializes in energy drinks as well as other products. His target market includes the military; however, he expects to venture out and is looking for other businesses to stock and sell his products. While in Charleston, he took the opportunity to stop at convenience stores to get contact information and investigate opportunities to give a cold canvass sales pitch for his business venture. This competitive event required a 30 page business plan and other personal selling props. Cade says that being in the Marketing class and working in the retail industry at the same time has really been beneficial. He emphasized that writing the 30 page business plan made him think through ideas that he hadn’t considered before.
In addition to the 3rd place finish in the Business Growth Plan Team Event, DCIT had three other students who were recognized for their achievements. Tierra Mumford, Cindy Martinez and Jakayla McCollough all placed in the top ten in Accounting Concepts. Mrs. Pamela Smith and Ms. Latrica Jackson who serve as the DECA advisors at the Darlington County Institute of Technology (DCIT) expressed how proud they were of all of the students and the hard work the students put into preparing for competition. Mrs. Smith teaches Marketing and Accounting. Ms. Jackson teaches Professional and Leadership Development, Office Procedures, Entrepreneurship, and Business Finance. Most of these classes are dual credit or articulated with Florence-Darlington Technical College.