There are so many memorable moments on the way to making history.
“I was already in awe of having qualified for the final round and was over the moon when I learned I had won first place in the competition,” says Vanessa Glowczewski, fresh off etching her name into Bayview Glen School’s record books.
The Grade 11 student took first-place in the individual role-play category of Entrepreneurship at the World DECA Championships in Florida, this spring.
“Vanessa’s achievement is nothing short of remarkable,” says Cameron Stott, teacher and a staff moderator of the DECA club at Bayview Glen. “Besides the fact that her achievement is historic for the BVG DECA chapter, it is also something that is incredibly difficult to achieve given how competitive this category has been historically,” he says.
The road to the top began with more than 250-thousand competitors from around the world. Regional competitions decreased that number along the way. In the end, Glowczewski went up against 250 of the top competitors worldwide in her category.
“Winning glass is the ultimate goal for all DECA competitors,” she says. “When I first started DECA in Grade 9, I could have never imagined that I would one day qualify for Internationals, let alone win first place. It was great to see that the hard work I put into prepping for my event paid off. I realized that I enjoy learning about business and felt rewarded that my passion for entrepreneurship came through in the competition.”
DECA is described as preparing, “emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe,” according to its website.
During competitions, participants tackle categories including role-plays and case studies, prepared events and online simulations.
“DECA has been instrumental in helping me improve my problem-solving, communication, and leadership skills,” she says. “The case studies challenged me to think creatively and, on my feet, while the written exams tested my knowledge of entrepreneurial concepts. Since the preparation process is self-directed, time management and effective prioritization were also critical. These same skills have carried over into my academics and extracurriculars. At the conference, I had the privilege to meet many like-minded students from around the world with various interests ranging from business to medicine to fashion.”
As she prepares to enter Grade 12 in September, Glowczewski hopes other students will be inspired to give the club a try or further deepen their involvement.
“DECA has been a core part of my high school experience, and as BVG DECA prepares for next year, I will endeavour to offer the same life-changing opportunity to all Upper School students,” she says.
So does one of her DECA faculty advisors, Cameron Stott.
“It is my hope as one of the teacher advisors (and as a former member of DECA during my high school years) that students in our community and in our chapter are inspired by what one of their peers was able to accomplish through dedication and persistence,” he says.
“I believe that student accomplishment begets student accomplishment in communities like BVG. I am hopeful that current and returning members of our DECA chapter will be motivated to work with and learn from Vanessa during next year’s season. I also think that this may serve as a rallying cry for students who may have been on the fence about involving themselves with DECA.”