Taking initiative during a virtual conference

Thursday, June 24, 2021
by Umber K. N. - High School student

How the DECA LDA Conference contributed to my professional growth 

I recently had the opportunity to attend the DECA Leadership Development Academy (LDA) Conference, which is an interactive virtual event where students are brought together to learn from real leaders themselves. This was a worthwhile experience that helped me grow and explore career paths that I never thought I would be able to pursue. I find that sometimes when we are presented with an opportunity, we never truly understand the effect it can have on us. For example, I was super hesitant about joining DECA LDA, I thought that it would interfere with my school or just be another thing I had to throw on top of my workload, but I am truly happy that I chose to participate in the LDA. All the information that I have learned through participating in the five LDA workshops - ‘Leadership in an Online/Remote Environment’, ‘Student Investment Fund/Student Venture Fund’, ‘Cracking the Case’, ‘How to Achieve Competition Success’, and ‘Future of CPA’ - can be used throughout my life no matter what I choose to do. I was able to develop a more forward thinking and positive mindset after coming out of the LDA Conference. 

I loved how engaging the conference was. During the time of COVID-19, I tend to get distracted with everything being online, but during the LDA Conference I found myself super engaged in all the lessons and activities the instructors had for us! I was also able to come out of my shell a little bit more, I tend to be shy and hesitant around large groups of people but all the instructors at the LDA Conference made it super easy for me to be myself. All the workshops gave important information that applied to high school students like me and provided knowledge that I could use in my life. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had to shift our learning and thinking to a virtual perspective. I was a little nervous walking into a world where my whole new life would revolve around my computer. However, by joining DECA and participating in the LDA, I felt completely comfortable because of the accessibility and ease of navigation within the WebEx platform used during the conference. While being online, it felt like I was sitting in a real conference room with all my peers! The environment that DECA LDA created was awesome! This experience is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and would recommend it to all my friends. Joining DECA LDA was the best decision I have ever made.