There is nothing more inspiring than getting to see just how much DECA has impacted an alum’s life. As part of California DECA’s #DECAlumni campaign, I interviewed DECA alumni Adam Connors and had the opportunity to listen to his amazing story.
Joining DECA as a freshman, Connors, like many other members, did not immediately succeed in the organization. His first district conference in Washington DECA ended with him placing outside of the top 8, which meant he did not qualify to compete at State. However, he recognized that though he had not won, he had still gained considerable skills, and so he did not give up. Because of his determination to continue working hard, Connors placed 2nd at the district conference his next year, obtaining the opportunity to compete at State.
Unfortunately, after that year Connors moved to a different school where he was unable to join DECA. However, despite only being in DECA for a brief time, Connors attributes almost all of his future success to the strong skill base he developed in DECA.
“DECA really gave me a way to obtain not only a real life connection with the things I learned in the textbook,” he says, “but also an opportunity to get real experience in the business field.”
At age 16, Connors decided to put the skills he gained in DECA to use in the work place. He obtained a job at Sears where he was paid full commission, meaning his only pay came from a percentage of how much he was able to sell to customers. According to Connors, he was able to directly apply the marketing and selling techniques he learned in DECA to his job, and despite his young age, he outsold nearly all of his fellow employees who were often decades older than him.
After his time at Sears, Connors turned to entrepreneurship, where again he found applications for his DECA skills. He started 6 separate businesses in college, and though they did not all end in great successes, he turned each of them into a learning experience. Eventually he found success as an investment banker, and now deals with capital measuring in the billions.
Connors’ story is an inspiring example of truly how much DECA can impact a student’s life. Every step of his journey, Connors says he utilized skills that he recognized were taught to him in DECA.
“DECA is really a wonderful organization,” Connors says. “That’s why I come back every year and help out: Because I want to give back to the organization that has given me so much.”