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UNH College of Business and DECA Help Mentor High School Students

Last December nearly 140 students, faculty and staff from 9 Connecticut High Schools visited the University of New Haven last December. Co-sponsored by the College of Business and the Connecticut state chapter of DECA, the students spent the day sharpening their skills and learning about College life and careers in business.

A number of COB Faculty, Staff and Executives in Residence participated as either Judges and Mentors, or discussed careers in their area of expertise.  After a brief welcome by Dean Davis, the students were broken in to 3 to 6 person teams.  Each team was given a role play scenario, similar to the type they receive at competitive DECA events.  For example, in one scenario the students played the role of a communications team preparing a PR plan to support the Grand Re-Opening of a historical theater.  During a 30-minute preparation period Executives in Residence such as Tom Giordano, former Vice President of Marketing for Phillips Healthcare, provided expert advice.  Next, the team had 11 minutes to present their plan to the Theater’s “Executive Directors”, Dean Davis and Mike Driscol, CEO of Winchester Electronics and UNH EMBA graduate, and answer questions from the judges.  Students also learned about business careers from COB Faculty.  For example, Dr. Upadhyaya discussed various career options for Economists.  Many COB students also participated in the event, some as guides ensuring student teams stayed on schedule, others as members of a panel, answering questions about what college life is really like.

“We had more than 100 high schoolers from  High School DECA chapters all across CT at UNH who competed as  TEAMs making  presentations on media plans ( doing role plays)  to a team of judges (COB Faculty and EIRs).   We had an ‘all hands on deck’ experience that was wonderful, “ said Dean Davis in an email to President Kaplan.

“It was a very positive day for the students,” commented Mr. Frank Rossi on Notre Dame High School’s Facebook page.  Mr. Rossi is Notre Dame’s Business and Technology Department Chairperson and DECA Moderator.

According to  an email sent by Mrs. Teresa Brooks, Marketing & Business Teacher and DECA Advisor, “I think this was a huge win for UNH, because now students have a great image of the campus and the culture and many of my students have actually stated their intention to apply now that they know more about the school.”

DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.

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