May 08, 2012


By: Samantha Sabal
Advertising 2012

Day 1:
It was April 21st and we arrived to Salt Lake City late Friday the night before ready to explore, challenge ourselves through tests and presentations, but most of all ready to bring home some medals! We all prepared hard through training by student trainers and help from our great faculty advisors, Michelle Morin and Tony Fruzetti. DECA had some great events planned for the next few days, and our first official day with DECA they had an opening ceremony at the Energy Solutions Arena and even tickets to come back that evening to go to the Utah Jazz basketball game.
Day 2:                                                
The next day we attended meetings on our different events to find out when we will present, as well as listen to people who work within the business of our interest. However, within my category, Advertising Campaigns, a prepared event, you needed to hand in your final document/paper for the judges to review before your presentations the following day. We found out that it needed to be done by 3PM and we were nowhere near ready to hand it in. A few other groups found themselves in the same position as us and had tons of work to do for their project as well. As I sat in and listened to the great speakers, my partner, Sam, had to rush to our room to finish the last touches to our project. Luckily we were about to get it printed and handed it in just in time.
Day 3:
The next day we had our first presentation to the judges at 10:10 AM. We were nervous and weren’t sure how prepared we were, even though we were working on the project day and night for weeks. We went in the presentation room, introduced ourselves and set up. I was making the opening statements to the presentation, and I completely blanked. I had no idea what to say for about 30 seconds. My heart started racing, and I just said blurted out the first thing I could say. Overall our presentation was okay. We didn’t feel that confident, but we knew no matter what we would enjoy the rest of our trip. Later that day, we had a wonderful lunch at a local cafĂ© called Blue Lemon. It offered ‘pure clean food, with a twist.’ It was right near the City Creek mall, which is one of the most beautiful outdoor malls I have ever seen. While walking around the city, we also saw Temple Square, Utah’s most popular tourist destination. It is the world headquarters of the Mormon culture and is absolutely beautiful. They had beautiful flowerbeds and trees, as well as large and small fountains everywhere. We also talked to some of the individuals who worked there, and they described to us what the Mormon beliefs and about their religious practices.
Day 4:
After the announcement of Top 12 finalists
From Left to Right: Samantha Wilber, Professor Michelle Morin, and Samantha Sabal
After waiting patiently all evening, the next morning we were heading to the preliminary awards session to see who made it to the final round. For the case studies, those who scored the highest both in test and in the role play were brought to stage and awarded medals for their great work, but only 12 move on to the final round. When the Advertising campaigns category was announced Sam and I got so nervous. We held each other’s clammy hands and Sam counted how many groups or participants were called until we would hear our names. We were called second to last, completely nervous! We screamed so hard and jump like lunatics! I even fell over when our names was called I was so excited! We ran towards the stage and didn’t even receive our medals until they were already starting the next category. We ran in the hallway celebrating to find out what time we would be presenting again in front of more judges. 3:10 PM, perfect to prepare and get us ready to dominate! We fixed the points that our previous judges mentioned in our first presentation, and then met up with Michelle Morin for some last minute tips on what we should say during the presentation. Our presentation went amazing! The judges were really impressed and even signed our ‘contracts’ as if we were in a real meeting and signing to do a deal with the company. We were so excited and ready to hear the results later that night. So we enjoyed the rest of the day by the pool. 14 of our members from the Johnson and Wales chapter made it within the final round. Later that night 13 of us got called back on stage, along with some 3rd place and 1st place winners! Sam and I made it to the top ten for the second year in a row and we were really excited about our great accomplishment.