May 07, 2013

JWU Claims Medals in Anaheim

-Patrick Rhodes,  Competing Student 

Around 4:30am Tuesday April 16th, 40 Johnson & Wales students from the Providence Campus set off to compete at DECA’s International Career Development Conference held in Anaheim California.  These qualified students had previously proven their talent at the Regional Development Conference hosted by JWU.
The Johnson and Wales contestants were joined by over 1,600 other college students from across the country and even other countries such as Canada.  Each participant was challenged to compete against other highly qualified students.  The competitions put students in the shoes of business professionals in several fields including Marketing Management, Sports & Entertainment Marketing, Financial Statement Analysis, Business-to-Business Marketing, Human Resource Management, and several others.  These judged competitions rate the participant’s ability to react to a given situation in their career field choice.
Colin Flynn, a JWU Finance Student and first place winner, described his experience in California. Partnered with Nakesha Wilson, also a JWU Finance Student, the team was asked to review CVS and Walgreens’ 2011 10K annual reports.  They then needed to present to judges an in-depth analysis of the information including recommendations and creating new reports. Wilson and Flynn were able to claim first place overall in their completion. “The trip was awesome” said Flynn who continued to note “I'm very thankful for the friends I made on the trip as well as the experience I gained from competing on that level”.  The team stated that they had been preparing themselves for the competition for over a month prior.  Flynn said “It definitely felt great to have all the hard work pay off with a first place finish”
Johnson and Wales had several other victories as well.  A total of 18 medals were taken by JWU Providence Student.  These include first place in Financial Statement Analysis, three top ten awards, three finalist placements, top written test and the Executive Leadership Passport Award.
Students also were able to network with various companies and hear from influential guest speakers. One of the more memorable speeches came from keynote Speaker Jill Blashack Strahan, author and founder of Tastefully Simple.  Jill, as she prefers to be called, shared her rags to riches story and discussed the importance of setting goals. 
While in Sunny Southern California it was not “all work and no play” however.  The students were also able to take advantage of the surrounding amenities.  Disney Land Parks, Hollywood, and Huntington Beach were just some of the attractions visited by students.  Students were also able to simply relax by the pool or connect with other competing students.
Winners Below

Colin Flynn and Nakesha Wilson – Financial Statement Analysis - First Place Overall, Finalists
Michael DeGrasse and Joseph Marcus – Business-to-Business Marketing – Top Ten Medalists, Finalists
Terazha Pitts and Lauren Queen – Entrepreneurship (Starting a Business) – Top Ten Medalists, Finalists
Xiyangzi Fang – Web Design – Top Ten Medalist, Finalist
Nicholas Kalas and Laura Day – Business Ethics – Team Event – Finalists
Kathleen Sands – Travel & Tourism – Finalist and Top Written Test Score
Brandon Hill – Leadership Passport Award