I will be forever grateful for everything I was able to experience throughout my year as an Oklahoma DECA State Officer. As a State Officer, I had the chance to meet so many DECA members from Oklahoma and around the globe who I still keep in touch with. Networking with everyone is what makes being a DECA member such a special opportunity for me. Some responsibilities I’ve had within my position include networking, writing emails to advisors, attending and helping at conferences, creating and presenting a workshop, helping members in any way possible, and speaking on stage. While our responsibilities may seem like a lot, they are easily manageable because we are given ample amounts of time for every project and given benchmarks to turn in parts of the project. As long as you remember to dedicate time to your projects, anything is possible within DECA, including placing at CDC or ICDC and becoming an officer.
One of my favorite things we did this year was hosting The Fall Leadership Conference. I loved getting to meet Oklahoma DECA members and watch them grow as leaders. Everyone who went to The Fall Leadership Conference had the opportunity to network with fellow DECA members and BPA members while learning skills that they could take back to their chapters and use in their personal lives. This time also allowed me to get closer with my team. The State Officer Team arrived the day before the conference to help set up. During this time, we got to attend a Champ Camp with other members and learn from a previous High School Executive Officer what the best tips for placing at CDC and ICDC are. By the way, it was practicing, researching, and creating visuals. After that, all of the DECA and BPA Officers were able to hang out and enjoy pizza together. Additionally, Ricardo and I created and presented a workshop together, where we both taught each other valuable leadership skills. Ricardo taught me the value of practicing until the presentation is near perfect. We probably went through our entire presentation ten times, but that helped us both know how the other works best and what their leadership style is.
I loved every minute of being on Council 81. I gained invaluable experience and friendships. When I decided to run for State Office, I didn’t know if I’d be able to talk on-stage in front of everyone, but I was able to grow and now I love speaking at conferences. If you have ever considered running for office, do it! Whether it be chapter or state office, there will always be benefits to gain and ways for you to grow.