2019 DECA Leadership GRIT Conference

DECA GRIT Students

The DECA Leadership GRIT Conference (DECA GRIT) was more than I expected, not just discussing DECA but also the rest of the business world. It was filled with interesting and informative lectures and workshops, along with hundreds of students networking and talking about their one common interest of DECA. DECA GRIT was held to help further enhance your skills to prepare you for future leadership roles in DECA and beyond, discussing leadership within all aspects of business.

The sessions I attended covered one of four main topics: accounting and finance, DECA, public speaking/networking, or meeting your goals. Each topic eventually tied in together by the end of the conference, showing that in business you can’t have one without at least two other skills and that they all come together to help you succeed within your field. However that field doesn’t have to be in business, these skills are transferable to other subjects. A perfect example of this is with the session “Fail to Succeed” delivered by four AFM student panelists. They spoke about how DECA and networking helped them achieve their goals in accounting and finance within their respective fields. This wasn’t the only session to do this however, but this was the best example of how every topic tied into one another as the panelists shared their experiences that covered all four topics within this one session. Each session gave me a different perspective on business and how to manage my life. At the same time the sessions all had the same overarching message: find something that inspires you, try it out, if you fail you get back up and try again. If you find that it doesn’t work for you, try something new. Keep trying until you find something you love and meet your goals, and even if you don’t make it on your first try, you just have to keep going. That is the most valuable take away I got from this conference, not how to properly run my DECA chapter or how to get into AFM, but how to live a successful and fulfilling life even when you fail.

During the time that I wasn’t in sessions or workshops, I networked with other students attending the conference. As someone who is inherently introverted, networking was something out of my comfort zone. While attending “Speak with Impact and Impress Them” by Marco Yim, someone asked, “Do you have any advice for how introverts can network and present to large crowds?”. Marco responded by talking about how he is an introvert, but he doesn’t let it stop him from networking and presenting. He said that although it can be mentally and physically draining for him to do this constantly, he still loves doing it as it helps to build up his image in the business world and helps students like me build confidence and prepare themselves for their future. This was a huge help for me, as up until this point I was actively avoiding networking and public speaking. However, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone in order to get feedback from others on the conference and talk to new people. The delegates I spoke with were very open and willing to share their experiences with me and what they thought about the sessions, which made it a lot easier for me to approach them. Networking has also helped me build connections with people I normally wouldn’t get the chance to talk to, as most of them were from another city. 

The DECA GRIT Conference was an extremely educational and interesting conference, that opened my mind up to new possibilities in the business world. The sessions taught everyone that you have to find something you love and go for it and even if you fail just keep going. Networking taught me to get out of my shell and just talk to people to make connections. This conference was beyond my expectations, and I would recommend attending next year’s conference if you get the chance.




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