October 18, 2016

Networking 101

Author: California DECA

While attending a DECA conference, your mind will undoubtedly be focused on walking across the stage while holding a 1st place glass plaque. However, conferences are also invaluable opportunities for forming connections with students who share similar interests; most of which you would not have had an opportunity to meet outside of DECA.
Here are some tips to maximize your networking skills at a DECA conference!

  • Be goal-oriented: Before you begin, set goals for yourself to help gauge the success of a networking session. Start by aiming to talk to 5 new students, or to meet someone from a different state or district.
  • Be genuine: Never lie or try to make yourself someone you’re not. Be honest and open while having a conversation.
  • Be open: As easy as it is to rant endlessly about yourself, that is not the best way to make conversation. Ensure that you are both equally contributing to the conversation. Ask open-ended questions that will guarantee both of you leave the conversation feeling satisfied.
  • Be consistent: Before the meeting ends, be sure to exchange business cards or contact information, then follow-up after the encounter. Always leave the person with a great impression!

Good luck owning your DECA network this year!

About California DECA
California DECA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Career and Technical Student Organization, endorsed by the California Department of Education. With over 4,500 members in 59 schools throughout California, California DECA works to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in four fields of business: marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. For more information about California DECA, visit


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California DECA