Eastern Michigan University hosted the Annual Distributive Education Clubs of America District 5 Marketing Competition, Jan. 8-9, in the Student Center Ballroom. Approximately 1,700 high school students were in attendance.
Energy was high among competitors as they made up chants and cheered each other on. Students participated in role-playing and writing activities designed to help get them acquainted with the marketing field and get hands-on experience with professionals.
Categories ranged from Sports & Entertainment Marketing to Hospitality and Tourism.
Seth Atkinson, 18, a senior at Franklin High School in Livonia, won the Sports and Entertainment category. After winning at last year’s conference, he was confident that history would repeat itself.
“I was fairly confident that I was going to win,” he said. “It was exciting, pretty cool!”
His project involved deciding what movies would be played, out of 20, based on a target market. Atkinson wants to pursue a marketing career after attending college at the University of Michigan in Dearborn and then transfer to DePaul University in Chicago.
Brian Pluff, a senior at Anderson High School in Southgate, has been a member of DECA for three months. He said that his experience so far has been rewarding and that he has plans for opening his own auto body shop in the future.
“It has shown me what I have to do, and the experience to succeed in my future career,” he said. “It helped me gain more leadership and creative skills.”
Although he didn’t win in any event, Pluff said he was very grateful for the opportunity and he’s confident that he will win someday. The experience was more important than winning and he feels that more students should get involved with DECA because of the preparation it can give them for college.
Tyler Camp, 18, whose project involved a hair salon procedure and customer rewards, won the Marketing Management category. The Franklin High senior has aspirations for a future marketing career and said it’s his first year at DECA, but he regrets not being a part of it last year.
“It’s what I enjoy doing,” he said. “Prepare, make sure you have people skills, if you don’t go in with confidence, you won’t do well.”