Middlesex Community College recently placed first, second and third place in various categories at the Massachusetts DECA Competition held at Stonehill College in Easton.
The competition allows students majoring in Marketing, Finance, Hospitality and Management an opportunity to compete with other local colleges and high schools.
Professor Vikram Sharma attended the event with six MCC students. Middlesex won first and second place in the Human Resources event while taking took third place in Accounting. The college placed fifth in the Entrepreneurship and Marketing categories.
“Competitions like these prepare our students for the real world,” Sharma said. “They enhance learning beyond the realms of classrooms and textbooks. Students learn how to network and build professional contacts.”
The events are judged by professionals within the industry, and their feedback is valuable to the students who hope to enter the workforce, according to Sharma. Students also gain skills in presentation, leadership, organization and team-building.
Gabriel Sarrategui of Chelmsford is an MCC Business Administration student who hopes to transfer to a four-year school to continue studying Business. He’d like to work in management for nonprofit organizations once he graduates.
“These competitions are important to education because they teach communication, presentation, skills from each specialized role-play, and adaptation to quick learning and confidence,” Sarrategui said. “No matter what major an individual studies, participating in DECA provides an experience to learn and better themselves.”
Participants at the event engaged in individual or team role-play events, according to Sarrategui. They were given a situation and 30 minutes to create a statement and solution before presenting it to the judge.
Throughout the competition, Middlesex students competed against students from four-year universities who are in their junior and senior years, many of whom have taken more advanced courses in their fields.
For Sharma, that emphasizes the significance of MCC’s accomplishments. He especially appreciates witnessing students who started off shy gaining confidence by participating in the events.
“From the college’s perspective, this fulfills the mission to prepare our students to be the leaders of tomorrow,” Sharma said. “It increases student engagement and serves as an inspiration to other students that they are on par — if not better– than their competition.”