• Kellie Sink

Minot State DECA hosts mentorship summit

The Minot State University Collegiate DECA chapter will host its second annual Professional Mentorship Summit on April 9. The idea was first brought to Minot State by previous Minot State DECA President Barbara Marquez. DECA members attended a fall leadership conference last year and were inspired to bring it back to Minot State.

“The fall leadership conference is something that the members have an opportunity to attend and connect with business leaders from the Fargo area, as well as greater North Dakota. Our president of DECA last year wanted to bring that back to the campus and share something that was impactful for her with the rest of the students at Minot State,” Asia Pleasant, current Minot State DECA president majoring in management and minoring in management information systems (MIS), said.

The mentorship summit provides students the opportunity to connect with local business leaders, hear about their career paths, and receive recommendations.

“They have so much experience to offer. It’s really, truly, an opportunity to connect with people, to stay in touch with them, and have somebody to kind of look out for you and give you some guidance as you're getting out into the world and preparing,” Pleasant said.

Minot State’s DECA chapter organizes a committee each year to put on the event.

“It’s completely student led and ran, the students are the ones who invite the mentors to campus as well as organize the entire event with all logistics behind it, helping with advertising as well,” Aaron Richard, DECA member majoring in management, marketing, and entrepreneurship with a minor in MIS, said.

While last year’s event was open to students only in the college of business, this year the event is open to the entire MSU campus, allowing students of all majors to hear from professors in a variety of colleges, as well as local business professionals in diverse careers.

“We invite all of the professors, especially in the college of business, but also now college wide to encourage their students to participate. We invite them to offer extra credit if they're willing to do so to encourage students to not feel guilty for not attending class if they want to be a part of the event. They can kind of incorporate that into their studies for different classes,” Pleasant said.

The DECA chapter encourages event participation, making this year inclusive to all students.

“Although we are a business club, we want to give back to everyone on campus. The variety of mentors that we have is going to change this year, and then also the structure of the event is going to change. They'll have more time at the tables with the mentors and less students at the table, so they won't have to kind of jockey for attention as much,” Pleasant said.

This year, the committee added a mixer to the beginning of the event, providing refreshments, appetizers, and a chance to get familiar with the mentors. The individual mentors will be featured on the DECA Facebook page, previewing who students will have the opportunity to meet at this structured event. With 16 different mentors available, students will be allotted eight to 10 minutes with each mentor they choose, rotating tables with fellow students.

The DECA chapter is eager to share its experiences with the rest of the university and urges others to pursue their campus and career aspirations as well.

“If there’s something that you want to see happen on campus and you have a dream or vision, you have the support to do that through other students, through your advisors, through the campus, and through community members. It's just really neat to see that not only do we have support for DECA, but we also have support from the community to really invest in the next generation of leaders that are coming out of Minot State University,” Pleasant expressed.

Students can register on Facebook in advance, as well as the day of based on availability.

The event will be held April 9 from 12:20-1:50 p.m. in the Minot State Conference Center, located on the third floor of the Student Center.

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