On Saturday, September 30th, 75 students had the opportunity to participate in the annual Introductory Case Competition hosted by DECA UTM.
During this event, students were given a hypothetical problem-solving situation within a category of their choice, such as marketing, accounting, business, law, and more, and were asked to offer a plausible solution. Once presented with their case, they were given 50 minutes to prepare a 10-minute presentation outlining their strategy and course of action. Although this fast-paced problem-solving could be considered nerve-wracking for first timers, DECA UTM’s co-president, Meenah Saravanabavan, had plenty to say on the enriching benefits of these type of events.
“I’m never nervous for an interview or a presentation because I’ve done DECA for so long,” says Saravanabavan. She stresses the value of these events, as they help students improve their communication skills and critical thinking abilities, while also teaching them how to think quick on their feet.
Saravanabavan while urging students from all disciplines to get involved, notes that certain categories may contain business terminology unfamiliar to students who are not involved in the fields of commerce and management. She recommends the business/law category to those hoping to pursue law school.
These cases usually cater to a wider range of students, as they offer a more practical application of concepts in business. When asked to describe the nature of these events, Saravanabavan painted a picture of encouragement and acceptance. The judges for this year’s Introductory Case Competition were alumni students who had participated in DECA case competitions themselves. By keeping their past experiences in mind, they were able to empathize with students and offer support and resources that could be used to enable their success. Saravanabavan emphasizes that DECA case competitions are simply learning experiences, and “it doesn’t matter how badly your first case goes, your second case will go better.”
The Introductory Case Competition was the first of three events being hosted by DECA UTM. The other two case competitions are scheduled to take place on October 28th and November 18th.