The College of Business Administration has a new target market for recruitment – COBA is one of the newest members of the National Advisory Board for Distributive Education Clubs of America, an organization of more than 185,000 high school students that attempts to prepare interested students for careers in marketing.
“It was the organization that got me excited about marketing when I was in high school,” said Matt Boisvert, instructor of marketing.
DECA’s advisory board is composed of companies, vendors and colleges across the United States. ACU is one of 11 universities on the board, a role COBA pursued after researching several similar organizations. DECA’s size and focus made it a smart business choice for COBA, Boisvert said.
“Here you have almost 200,000 business-minded students who have identified themselves as interested in marketing,” Boisvert said. “DECA can be really influential in helping students decide on a career, and we want to be there to help them.”
Boisvert said members of the board are required to participate at the annual DECA leadership conference, as well as provide logistical help at other conferences. He said for a Christian university, the conferences would be an excellent opportunity to speak about business ethics. The main purpose of the partnership, however, is to be of service to DECA advisers on the ground in high schools around the country, he said.
Julie Elswood, marketing analyst for COBA, was instrumental in the membership process. She said board members are required to pay a sponsorship fee, which lowers the cost of the national leadership conference for students in need of financial assistance. For COBA, the benefits of joining greatly outweigh the costs.
“It puts our name out there,” Elswood said. “If any of their students are interested in a Christian undergrad program, we’d like them to think of us first.”
Although DECA is primarily a high school organization, its partnership with COBA may give current students an advantage in the job market.
“It may seem like most of this is for prospective students, but we’re hoping to cultivate relationships with employers and get really cool internships for our students,” Elswood said.
Elswood mentioned some big names on the board, including Southwest Airlines, Finish Line and Hilton Hotels Corp.
“Working or interning at the corporate level in any of these companies would provide excellent learning and networking opportunities for our business majors,” she said.