MSUM’s DECA Team Returns From International Competition As Champions

MSUM’s DECA Team returned home from the International Career Development Conference in Orlando with immense success.

MSUM students, Tony Roetzel and Joshua Wehseler, were awarded first place for their presentation at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando, Florida. Roetzel and Wehseler are members of DECA, an organization sponsored by the Paseka School of Business at MSUM that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. DECA students qualify for the international competition by placing at the state level. Twelve other qualifiers accompanied the champions to Orlando, several distinguishing themselves in the process. Brandon Stacken received second place honors in Accounting and Devon Liljenquist captured third in Banking Financial Services. The team of Gavin Doppler and Lingfeng Lu reached the finals of International Marketing capturing an honorable mention for their effort.

The ICDC is an annual gathering of state and regional qualifiers from DECA chapters located around the country, and in Canada, Puerto Rico, and China. Hundreds of schools and well over a thousand competitors vie for recognition at the international level. With six of the fourteen MSUM students decorated at this year’s event, the chapter eclipsed the most optimistic forecasts. This is only the second international show for the MSUM DECA chapter in just its third year of existence.

Doppler, who founded the chapter in his freshman year at MSUM, could not have been more pleased with the results. “We are leagues ahead of where we thought we’d be at this point,” Doppler stated. “We went into the competition with a lot of confidence, but not in our wildest imagination did we think we’d bring so much hardware back to Moorhead. This was a team effort going back to the start of the year and everyone has a sense of ownership and pride for what we’ve accomplished.“

MSUM’s DECA chapter is already focusing on next year’s State and the ICDC competition slated for Washington D.C. Doppler is looking forward to passing the gavel as chapter president and working in more of an advisory capacity in his senior year at the University. He states that his focus will be given to recruitment, a job made easier by the program’s latest success.

“Outside of competing at the conference, it was heartwarming to see the relationships that were built from this club. MSUM’s diverse students from all over the world, different departments on campus, with completely different personalities and friends groups, now chuckle about the great times we had together. More than starting a professional development organization that student’s can boost their resumes with, the most rewarding thing to see was the ecstatic cheers and group hugs that former strangers were giving each other out of genuine pride for a fellow Dragon, and friend.”

From L to R: Devon Liljenquist, Tony Roetzel, Joshua Wehseler, and Brandon Stacken.

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