DePaul DECA wins 35 awards at International Career Development Conference

Members of DePaul’s DECA chapter joined thousands of students from around the world to win 35 awards at the International Career Development Conference in April. The group, which only won two awards last year, was also proud to have DePaul sophomore Jaimie Thimmesh Rachie elected as Collegiate DECA’s executive president.  

DECA, or the Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a competitive business club at the high school and collegiate levels that invites students to compete in case studies, simulations and exams as well as develop skills in leadership and teamwork skills. More than 1,300 collegiate members went to the competition on April 18-22 in Orlando.

“It really prepares you for the future,” DePaul sophomore Kamil Strycharz said.

Strycharz, the DePaul chapter’s vice president of marketing, was recognized for the Academic Honors and Leadership Awards.

“I love competing and it’s great to represent DePaul. Other schools don’t have DECA and it’s part of the reason why I chose DePaul,” Strycharz said.

In addition to individual events, members slept hardly four hours every night working for Thimmesh Rachie’s presidential campaign.

“I was in shock,” Thimmesh Rachie said when she heard the results that she had won. “I was frantically trying to calm myself down. I heard my name, smiled, and I walked up and gave my speech. It was really exciting with my team there cheering for me.”

Thimmesh Rachie joined DECA in high school and since becoming president of the DePaul chapter, she has helped raise the membership from about 16 to more than 90 people. Her impact on the organization inspired her to run for presidency, and she officially declared her campaign in October.

“Unfortunately most of DECA’s past executive presidents have been male and there’s only one female in the officer team. It was a big challenge to overcome … There were a lot of late nights in library,” Thimmesh Rachie said.

Thimmesh Rachie will have a busy year ahead of her. As executive president she will travel to different states every other week, if not every week. She will lead a conference in New York and another in Washington D.C., where she will also get to have dinner at the White House. The group is trying to plan a trip to China as well.

“It’s really cool,” Thimmesh Rachie said. “I will be a full time junior next year as well as trying to have a job that I can live and support myself. It will be a very busy year for me, but I’m excited.”