From left to right: Lauren Putnam, Jacob Sherwood, Allison Putnam.

Kettering University DECA students win state championship at Collegiate DECA’s State Career Development Conference

At the conference, students took exams, solved current and practical business case study problems, wrote business plans and role-played with industry judges.

Fourteen Kettering University students captured 13 awards at Collegiate DECA’s State Career Development Conference in Battle Creek, Michigan, Feb. 6-8. Four placed first, one placed second, four placed in third and four received honorable mentions.

At the conference, students took exams, solved current and practical business case study problems, wrote business plans and role-played with industry judges. Of the 16 Kettering students who competed this year, 14 were new to Collegiate DECA, and six were either engineering or applied math students.

Matthew Pawelski, a freshman majoring in Business Administration and one of the first place winners at the conference, got involved with collegiate DECA because it looked like a fun and exciting competition to grow his skills.

“At the competition, I was challenged by the time constraint imposed upon the preparation for my pitch," he said. "These were minor obstacles however, as this was only a small sampling of what real world consulting is like. My co-op experience has prepared me for a plethora of activities in the world of marketing, on both the analysis and strategy sides, and I was more than prepared for whatever DECA could throw my way.”

Kettering University’s chapter went head-to-head against students from University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Pittsburgh, Oakland University, Northwood, Davenport (Grand Rapids) and Delta College.

Karen Cayo, interim Department of Business department head and DECA faculty advisor, noted that Kettering's percentage of students at the conference who took home award was impressive.

“Kettering registered 16 students and 14 took awards, which equals 87.5 percent, which was the highest percentage at the conference,” Cayo said.

The honors qualify the students to attend the International Collegiate DECA Career Development Conference in Orlando, Florida, from April 17-21.

First place winners included Pawelski in Restaurant and Food Service Management and Marketing Management; Thomas Swanson, sophomore majoring in Business Administration, in Entrepreneurship – Growing a Small Business; and the team of Lauren Putnam, freshman majoring in Business Administration, Allison Putnam, senior majoring in Business Administration and Jacob Sherwood, senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering, in Advertising Campaign.

Second place winners were Madeline Geffert, freshman majoring in Business Administration, and Ross Person, freshman majoring in Business Administration, in Emerging Technology Marketing Strategies.

Third place winners were Alex Holder, freshman majoring in Applied Mathematics, in Professional Sales; Troy DeLong, sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and Harschal Patel, freshman majoring in Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering, in Business to Business Marketing Management; Jonathan Blanchard, junior majoring in Business Administration, and Matthew Stauffer, junior majoring in Business Administration and Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering, in Financial Statement Analysis; and Matthew Cromer, sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and Hugo Rouquet, freshman majoring in Mechanical Engineering, in Business Ethics.

Honorable mentions went to Madeline Geffert, freshman majoring in Business Administration, in Fashion Merchandising and Management; Ross Person, freshman majoring in Business Administration, in Corporate Finance; Jacob Sherwood in Accounting; and Matthew Cromer, sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering, in Executive Job Interview.

"This (competition) represents the caliber of students who attend Kettering. They learn the basic knowledge in the classroom and then apply/problem-solve in their co-op program. This is what DECA is all about - knowledge and solutions,” Cayo said.

Collegiate DECA is open to all Kettering students. To find out more about the chapters, contact Professor Karen Cayo at kcayo@kettering.edu.

About Collegiate DECA: Collegiate DECA an entirely student-oriented organization focused on developing future business leaders. The four cornerstones of DECA are career awareness, civic consciousness, social intelligence, and leadership development with competitive events in Business, Design, Entrepreneurship, Finance & Accounting, Food Service & Culinary, Hospitality & Travel, Information Technology, Management, and Marketing & Sales.  Besides the yearly State and International Career Development Conferences in the spring, Collegiate DECA also sponsors a yearly Leadership Conference in the fall.


Written By Elena Moeller-Younger | Contact: Patrick Hayes - phayes@kettering.edu - (810) 762-9639