Competitors from Marc Garneau CI  at the DECA Ontario provincial competition.

Competitors from Marc Garneau CI at the DECA Ontario provincial competition. Photo: Susie Liu

On 10 and 11 February, MGCI students headed to the DECA Ontario Provincial business competition held annually at the Sheraton Centre hotel. Over 6000 students from across Ontario attended, including many students from outside the city, who stayed at the hotel overnight to be able to compete. The event was hosted over three floors of the Sheraton hotel, and included a large number of table displays from businesses and universities, and a semi-formal dance for students staying overnight.

Competitors either participated in oral events consisting of business roleplays and a written business exam, or in written events consisting of a written business proposal prepared prior to the competition, a presentation of their proposal, and for some events, a written business exam. They were evaluated based on their knowledge and understanding of business terms and concepts, as well as professional conduct and overall presentation style. Students participating in oral events qualified through regional competitions, whereas students competing in written events simply proceeded directly to the provincial competition.

38 students from Marc Garneau competed, a record number for the school resulting from the expansion of the school’s chapter this year. For the most part, the event proceeded smoothly, however the chapter did experience several mishaps and delays. Some events proceeded significantly behind schedule, and the written exams and business proposals of several students were lost both before and during the competition. One student’s business proposal was lost for about an hour before it was found and he was able to compete, and another student’s proposal was lost prior to the event, despite the fact that she had received a receipt stating that it had been received by DECA Ontario, and as a result she was not able to compete.

Jessica Cao, president of Marc Garneau CI's DECA chapter, won two medals and was awarded the DECA Ontario scholarship.

Jessica Cao, president of Marc Garneau CI’s DECA chapter, won two medals and was awarded the DECA Ontario scholarship. Photo courtesy of Jessica Cao

Despite these setbacks however, eight students from Marc Garneau CI’s chapter took home awards from the event, including Parnika Godkhindi, who placed in the top 15 in her category of Principles of Business; Ryan Lin, who placed second overall in his category of Principles of Marketing, qualifying for the International Career Development Conference that will be held in Atlanta this May; and Jessica Cao, president of the chapter, who won medals for both of her roleplays, as well as being awarded a DECA Ontario scholarship.

The chapter’s vice president, Vanessa Du, commented that “we represented Garneau well, especially with the record number of people this year. We hope the competition introduced the new competitors to realistic examples of workplace scenarios. Everyone bonded through the experience.” Congratulations to all the competitors, and good luck to Ryan in May.