Four William Woods University students—Tori Brandt, Kara Eikenbary, Taylor Finkel and Rochelle Garcia—were among 1,500 students who competed at the
Collegiate DECA International Competition in Orlando, Florida.
Three of the four students won awards. They qualified for the international competition by placing first or second in the state competition in Jefferson City, Missouri, in February.
Brandt, a freshman from Fulton, Missouri, and Eikenbary, a senior from Independence, Missouri, competed as a team in Management/Entrepreneurship,
Starting a Business. They placed in the top 10 in the final round of their event.
Finkel, a junior from Grand Rapids, Michigan, competed in the Marketing/Hotel and Lodging portion of the competition.
Garcia, a sophomore from Yukon, Oklahoma, placed as one of the top 10 competitors in the Marketing/Travel and Tourism final round.
One of the judges for the final round of Garcia’s competition was so impressed with her performance that she has reached out to Garcia with future internship and career possibilities at Universal Studios.
DECA is an international organization that prepares both high school and college students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.
Collegiate DECA programs assist in developing academically prepared, community-oriented, professionally responsible, experienced leaders.
A student-driven organization, Collegiate DECA values leadership, innovation, integrity and teamwork. It prepares students for careers by integrating skills learned in the classroom into real world experiences.
Although all of the competition events relate to business, students have a wide array of events to choose from—all of which provide an opportunity for them to gain experience and network opportunities.
Dr. Linda Duke, WWU assistant professor of marketing and business, is the group’s adviser. She was pleased with what the students achieved.
“William Woods University students continue to be strong competitors at both regional and international levels of business competition each and every year,” she said. “Our students’ successes reflects the exceptional level of education they receive at WWU.”