Archive for November 11, 2011

How to Get DECA! and make that amazing roleplay

Former national DECA president and national roleplay champion Curtis Haley gave several excellent presentations today, including insightful workshops on how to improve written projects and earn that coveted trophy.

The first workshop I attended was his Get Prepared! DECA’s Role Plays presentation. He gave us several crucial tips for improving role play strategies both in and out of the conference. For starters, remember the four Is: Introduction, Invert, Impress, and In conclusion. When you introduce yourself, have enthusiasm, give a firm handshake (but don’t crush your judge’s hand!), and make your point and structure clear. During your presentation, imagine an inverted triangle; start with broad ideas and proceed to your examples and more specific ideas. Impress your judges by taking control of the role play, showing confidence, and having that wow factor that’ll make you stand out. Finally, remember to include a strong conclusion to end your role play on a strong note.

Mr. Haley also demonstrated the ten secrets to a winning role-play. But the first and foremost most important part to winning a role-play is practice, practice, and more practice. Only by repeating your role-plays to identify your mistakes can you improve and win that first-place trophy.

Follow these steps and you’re well on your way to winning your event at your next conference!

Internships, Volunteer Opportunities, and Experiences

As a student who has aspirations to pursue a career in the Public Relations field, the WRLC Marketing and Public Relations Panel was truly insightful. It’s at conferences like WRLC that I realize the extent of what DECA has to offer its members.

The panel featured Accenture Communication Consultant Jonathan Block, La Jolla Playhouse Communications Specialist Deanna Chew, Rescue Social Change Group President Jeffrey Jordan, and the San Diego Padres’ Director of Marketing Nicole Smith. At the end of the panel discussion, the audience was allowed to ask the panelists questions. One of the big questions was, “How do I land an internship right after college?”

Jeffrey Jordan said not to be too concerned about finding an internship directly after college because most professional companies look for college students that they can “groom” and “potentially hire when they graduate.” Instead, he suggests that students redirect their focus to looking for volunteer opportunities right after high school.

“You might get better experience through volunteer opportunities: political ones, even volunteering for non-profits or organizations where you might have a chance to do more than they would hire you to do because you’re there for free,” said Jordan. “And you can really prove yourself and end up doing a lot of fun stuff.”

Nicole Smith took a different angle on internships.

“Internships are huge, really important, but I would broaden the category,” Smith emphasized. She says it’s not just about interning in your field, but doing the jobs that you can do now such as “working customer service at a store” or “being a waitress or waiter.” Why? Because, despite the fact that these are entry-level positions, you can learn essential skills including customer service, how to deal with the public, and how to communicate effectively. In fact, Smith said that when she looks to hire people at the San Diego Padres, she looks for people with those very basic skills.

“Don’t underestimate the value of the experiences that you can achieve right now and how those little experiences can help you build and grow into bigger ones,” concluded Smith.


Get Wall Street!

Andy from Teamn Tri did an amazing job helping kids GET WALL STREET!

Kids loved him because he had great audience involvement.

Numerous students were given the opportunity to listen to his presentation on investment, banking, economics, finance, etc. Andy was a former DECA member. His first conference was WRLC exactly fourteen years ago.

Learn to Tie a Bow Tie

Learn how to a tie a bow tie from the man who can head stand. He’s a rockstar on communication, Jonathan Block.

Here’s the video:

Jonathan’s Quick Hints for Social Media

1.) Think about both Facebook and Twitter like you are at a party — keep it casual and be you.

2.) Be responsive — every time someone comments, comment back. Every single time.

3.) Post on twitter 4 to 6 times a day, minimum.

4.) Post to Facebook 2-4 times a day, maximum. If you’re Facebooking too often, people will get annoyed, and Facebook (because of its algorithms) will make it so that people see your posts less.

How to Land Your First Gig

Jonathan F. Block’s 3 hints for how to land your first gig:

1.) Internships

2.) Internships

3.) Internships

Find someone you want to work for, and ask them if you can work for them for free. Don’t be afraid to work for free — serving people gets you where you want to be. You just have to make sure you’re working for someone that you want to work for, because that’s how you’re going to get the best experience possible.

Be Your Best

As the Executive Director of California DECA Ryan Underwood stated this morning at the end of the Energizer Session, “Veterans Day is the day we honor the people who have served us by being the best we can be.” This was probably one the most insightful things I’ve heard throughout this conference, and also one of the truest. While we Get DECA! over the next 2 days, and grow as leaders and entrepreneurs, it’s always important to remember how we honor those in service by taking advantage of the opportunities they have sacrificed to give us. Get DECA, and be the best you can be!


The aspiring leaders of Western Region DECA reconvened for a much more casual and relaxed get-together after the Get PSYCHED opening session. Kelly Barnes got us all energized and pumped, which included a sing-off and dancing to his version of YMCA, which, all I can say is, quite the icebreaker :)

We rounded the night off with a game of Leadership Circus, which included a bunch of running (and occasional bump-ins) and completing a series of random tasks. Props to those guys who went around saying “I’m a beautiful lady” – that shows dedication and a willingness to just have fun!

That’s all for tonight – I’ll see you all tomorrow!


California State Meeting!

California DECA’s amazing state officers and advisors got us all hyped for WRLC! We even played ninja, can you get more awesome than that?

Jose Romero (VP of Chapter Development), Sri Muppidi (VP of Civic Consciousness), Cassie Hwang, Siyang Qiu (VP of Public Relations), Geena Dai (VP of Southern California), Ling Zeng, Dyan Khor, Kyungna Kim

California DECA plays ninja!

Vince Velez WRLC 2011 Video Journal

     Before I get some much needed rest (currently 2:43 am), I’d like to share my youtube channel with all you wonderful DECA members. I’ve been posting videos to my channel that have to do with WRLC and they range from getting ready, to actual events, and to interviews. There’s even footage of my chapter’s 7 1/2 hour bus ride here. Although after learning what happened to Social Media Intern Ross Snyder’s bus, I can’t really complain. (Check out the story Get Stranded, then GetDECA)


Here’s the link to my youtube channel and I try to publish the videos right after I film them!



Vince Velez reminding you to GetDECA!