Goodman students victorious at international DECA competition

They were among a crowd of more than 1,500 competitors, but four students from Brock’s Goodman School of Business recently earned the spotlight on an international stage.On April 22, business students Steven Simons, Arusa Mithani, Julia Baird-Oryschak and Shehryar Khalid won top awards at DECA’s International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif.DECA is an international organization that prepares students at both the high school and university levels for leadership through competitive events and professional development activities.Simons and Mithani placed first overall in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing category, Baird-Oryschak placed second overall in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing, and Khalid placed third overall in Banking Financial Services.The competition required students to read and analyze short business cases and present their recommendations to judges — all under a time crunch.The win comes after the Goodman DECA team earned 18 medals at the DECA U Provincials competition in January, setting a new medal count record for the Goodman School of Business.Interim Dean Barry Wright said this latest achievement, while impressive on its own, is the icing on the cake of an already successful competition season.“We are so proud of our students who continue to gain recognition and make positive impressions on judges,” he said. “Winning at an international level is an excellent way to end a banner year of competition awards.”Simons, who also served as this year’s President of Goodman DECA, said the results are a testament to the hard work put in by the entire 52-student team.“When you look at our team, our students have the work ethic and dedication that it takes to win,” he said. “Many of our students went above and beyond and came in for extra practices and training throughout the year.”The third-year business student started participating in DECA in Grade 11 and has learned a lot from five years of competitions.Describing himself as a quiet student, Simons said DECA helped to push him out of his comfort zone.“If you had told me in high school that in a few years I would be an international champion at a presentation-type competition, I wouldn’t have believed it,” he said.“I think it’s great to see that with DECA, you can get involved as a delegate and then move up. The opportunities keep growing exponentially after that. That’s what DECA has been for me.”With an extensive training program established and a track record of success in place, Simons’ goal this year as chapter president was to continue to build a supportive culture within his team.“We wanted everyone to feel like they had 51 new friends that they could fully trust and rely on for anything they needed,” he said. “Once you’ve built that level of confidence, people are in a much better environment to actually learn and put in the work. I think everyone doing that collectively is what helped us get the exceptional results at both Provincials and ICDC. Having the support of your fellow team members gives you that extra boost of confidence going into a competition.” read more