How often do you find yourself scrolling through your LinkedIn news feed?
Last month, I stumbled on a post that a connection had liked. Whenever a post starts with, “I seldom put anything out on LinkedIn”, I get interested because it usually contains relevant engaging information.
This particular post was a personal endorsement to volunteer with DECA at their regional competition. The author was able to share his excitement through the text and inspired me to act.
“These students are learning now, where they are, to prepare themselves for when it matters most”
I clicked the conveniently attached survey link to sign up and could not be happier with that decision. What I thought would be a few hours of my Saturday morning turned into so much more. The morning was filled with energy as over 900 high school students anxiously prepared for the competition. These students, I might add, will be future business executives, thought leaders, and CEO’s.
As a judge, I was able to evaluate business cases presented by students that had an interest in business law. These students ranged from nervous freshmen to well-polished seniors but they all had a few things in common.
Pushing themselves out of their comfort zones
These students were able to take 30 minutes to prepare a business case and present their ideas and strategies to a stranger. How often, do we see business professionals with many years of experience struggle through similar presentations? These students are learning now, where they are, to prepare themselves for when it matters most.
Shared desire to improve
After the judging was over the students asked if the judges would answer some individual questions collectively. This showed me that they hungered for more than the feedback scratched on the back of the scoring rubric. They wanted open and honest feedback tailored to their individual levels.
Strong drive to learn something new
I got the feeling that these students were not just doing this to add a line to their resumes but instead to learn in ways that a classroom simply cannot provide. Beyond the business topics covered, these students are learning key leadership and teamwork skills that are needed in today’s business environment.
I highly encourage you to volunteer at events like this. By showing up, you are instilling volunteerism in them. You are encouraging these young professionals to strive for something more. Most importantly, you are inspiring these young professionals to act.