In April, 56 Bayview Secondary School students competed at the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Nashville, Tennessee, among 18,000 students from across the world. At the conference, students were tasked with solving business case studies by applying core business knowledge. Some students were given these cases at the beginning of the DECA season in September where they had to write a 5, 11, or 30 page report; others prepared a solution on the spot and presented it to a judge in a 10-minute presentation. With only 6.6 per cent of all competitors advancing to ICDC, competition is tough, but the Bayview DECA cohort has proven to be tougher.

Bayview DECA members undergo weekly training sessions starting in September. In each of these sessions, they practice their presentation skills and learn new business content for the competitions. However, it is not this training alone that makes Bayview DECA members so successful in competition. It is the extra effort and determination demonstrated by the chapter that makes it strive. Yet, none of this would be possible without David Vallier, the Bayview DECA teacher supervisor. In an interview with him, he described Bayview DECA as follows:

“We have an amazing chapter; we’re pretty much number 1 in Ontario for a number of reasons. For the past few years we’ve been building up the chapter. We’ve overcome lots of obstacles, and we’ve persevered. I think we have great work ethic and determination – that’s what I see. And the fruit of that is our success in competitions.”

This extra effort is shown in the time members spend outside of training with their mentors and trainers, poring over their written reports or practicing case studies. It is this dedication that allows Bayview DECA to sustain its supportive and winning culture.

Bayview left ICDC this year with 24 finalists, 43 medals, and five top 3 winners, breaking records and making the school the top chapter of the top delegation in the world. Regardless of whether or not they were individually successful, members were ecstatic at the the outstanding success of the chapter, and showed the world the tight knit family that is Bayview DECA.

Although this year’s DECA season has ended, the Bayview DECA community still thrives. For most members, DECA has ceased to be just a club – it has become an enriching community that helps youth grow and gain experiences that are, in a word, unforgettable.

Written by Rishi Bansal and Claire Zhou