Southern Utah University freshman Lindsay Joyner has been crowned international champion in the Hotel and Lodging category of competition that pitted some 700 students at DECA’s recent International Career Development Conference in Washington, D.C.
DECA, or Distributive Education Clubs of America, is an international organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.
The DECA competition presents students with a simulation, case-study or professional presentation in 24 different business categories. Depending on the event, students have 20 to 60 minutes to prepare and present before the judges who score the students on problem-solving capabilities.
Joyner demonstrated impressive critical and analytical thinking, problem solving skills and professionalism, according to judges.
“DECA has helped me in so many ways since becoming a member,” Joyner said. “I’ve learned a lot that has benefitted me in the career world, and I know my interview preparedness is much stronger as a result of this incredible organization.”
Highly involved with the high school chapter of DECA in her hometown of Birmingham, Ala., Joyner sought out SUU’s collegiate chapter upon her arrival to campus in the fall of 2015. This business major is driven to succeed and has set high goals for her future education and career.
Brandon Armstrong, career coach and employment outreach coordinator, helps prepare students associated with the SUU chapter of DECA each year for the conferences and competitions. Armstrong sees the program as a great opportunity to practice on-the-spot thinking and troubleshooting.
“DECA is a wonderful platform for students to get experience in the business world and to be challenged,” said Armstrong. “It gives these students a unique opportunity to interact with professionals from specific industries and to apply the things taught in SUU classrooms.”
Joyner wasn’t alone at the DECA competition. In total, six SUU students traveled to the nation’s capital. The students who attended were:
- Austin Hanson (Accounting)
- Gage Simms (Accounting)
- Jacob Lyman (Hotel and Lodging)
- Lindsay Joyner (Hotel and Lodging)
- Sara Tangren (Travel and Tourism)
- Tyler Edgel (Accounting)