With a seasoned veteran at the helm, a team of Goodman School of Business students headed to a provincial DECA competition last week with one goal in mind: victory.
Simran Arora, a fourth-year Accounting co-op student, led the charge and helped her peers lay claim to 17 medals at the DECA U Provincial competition held in Toronto from Jan 19 to 21.
More than 1,300 students competed in the fast-paced event that puts students’ analytical and communication skills to the test in several business categories.
Students were given short, realistic business scenarios and had just 15 minutes to understand the business problem and come up with a recommendation to pitch to industry professionals.
Arora, who is completing a co-op work term at Grant Thornton, took the reins as President of Goodman DECA — the University’s chapter in the DECA U Ontario organization — last May and started recruiting and training students in September.
The Brampton native, who has been competing at DECA since Grade 11, helped train her team for at least six hours every week, ramping up training to as much as six hours per day as the competition drew near.
When they reached last week’s event, they proved the many training hours to be time well spent.
Seventeen students came away with medals in either individual or team events, a number that broke the Goodman team’s historic record for the number of students receiving awards.
“Our team was hardworking with a winning attitude from the beginning and their efforts really showed at the competition,” Arora said. More than 10 students, apart from the ones who placed, received marks above 90 per cent for their presentations, she said.
“Our team’s scores show how competitive the event was and how well they did individually. I’m so proud of our team.”
In addition to training the team, Arora also won first place in the Project Management Institute Case Boss event with her teammates Zaman Dubey and Arusa Mithani.
Separate from the standard 15-minute cases, the Case Boss challenge requires students to prepare a case analysis one month prior to the competition, where they present their recommendation.
This marks the third consecutive year Goodman students have won the unique challenge.
Arora says students come away from the DECA competition with an understanding of how to analyze business scenarios, how to think on the spot and how to present effectively.
“Through my co-op experience, I’m finding out that a lot of the DECA cases I learned from mirror real-life situations that I see at work,” she said.
Goodman School of Business Dean Andrew Gaudes, who attended the awards gala Saturday, said the room was buzzing with positive energy and erupted with cheers every time Brock students were called to the stage for awards.
“It was very easy to be proud of our school, given the successes that were being repeatedly announced during the evening,” he said.
The following teams received medals for their final award standings of their categories:
- First place in the Project Management Institute Case Boss Challenge: Simran Arora, Zaman Dubey and Arusa Mithani
- Second place in Business Law: Riya Barot and Vishrut Shah
- Second place in Business to Business Marketing: Shanen D’Souza and Natalie Tosello
- First place in Sports and Entertainment Marketing: Kido Okeleke and Mile Peles
- Second place in International Marketing: Jasman Bisram and Avneet Rehal
The following students received medals for placing in the Top 5 of their individual categories:
- Corporate Finance: Shehryar Khalid and Eric Shelton
- Human Resources: Charnjot Brar
- Restaurant and Food Services: Preami Navaranchan
- Travel and Tourism Marketing: Brennan Froud and Jayna Sutaria