College of Business, Analytics & Communication
Nine MSUM students place in the Top 10 at international DECA competition

Nine MSUM students place in the Top 10 at international DECA competition

Nine Minnesota State University Moorhead Paseka School of Business students placed in the Top 10 at the spring 2024 Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference competition, which took place April 20-23 in Austin, Texas. Twenty MSU Moorhead students qualified for the international competition by placing first, second or third at the Minnesota Collegiate DECA competition held earlier this spring. MSUM was one of the largest teams at the international competition, with 12 students qualifying for the finals competition and nine Dragons placing in the Top 10 out of more than 1,200 members.

“These students have showcased exceptional talent, determination, and strategic thinking, placing them among the best in their field,” said DECA Advisor and School of Business Associate Professor Ralf Mehnert-Meland. “Their success at the Collegiate DECA International Conference is a testament to the quality of education they receive at the Paseka School of Business.”  

Collegiate DECA members competed for top international honors in one of 25 competition categories, ranging from advertising to travel and tourism. The Collegiate DECA Competitive Events Program prepares students for careers by measuring skills, knowledge, and attitudes in the areas of marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Students are evaluated by business and industry professionals in all competitive events.

MSUM students competed in Business Ethics, Marketing Management, Financial Statement Analysis, Business-to Business Marketing, International Marketing, Corporate Finance, Financial Accounting, Event Planning, Sports Marketing, Fashion Merchandising and Marketing, and Retail Management categories, where they were challenged to analyze a real-world case study situation and present their findings, recommendations or solutions.

“Collegiate DECA is a great way to extend the DECA career of students who participated on their high school teams,” Mehnert-Meland said. “Students participate in competitive events, chapter campaigns, leadership development and attend impactful conferences where they can network with business leaders.”

Below are MSUM’s Top 10 international finishers.

Sophia Smith is a junior finance major who placed fourth overall in Retail Management and first in performance. The Anoka High School graduate is treasurer of the Financial Management Association and a resident assistant. She’s the daughter of Lori and Brandon Gesch, Minneapolis.

International business major Dillon Fliehler is in his second year at MSUM. He competed in the Marketing Management category placing seventh overall out of 57 participants internationally. He also earned a medal for one of the highest preliminary case study scores. He’s active in Housing and Residential life, Honors Program, and Jazz Ensemble. The White Bear Lake High School graduate is the son of Jason and Beth Fliehler, Hugo.

The team of Isabel Olson, Anna Egeland and Rosalee Moske placed fourth internationally in the Financial Statement Analysis category.

  • Isabel Olson is a junior accounting major and the president of MSUM’s DECA. She’s also a member of the Economics Society, Accounting Club, Book Club and in the Honors Program. She is a graduate of Central High School, Aberdeen, S.D., and is the daughter of Candi Olson and Chad Olson.
  • Anna Egeland is an accounting major who will graduate this fall. She’s involved in Student Senate, Accounting Club, and Book Club. A graduate of Mankato West High School, she is the daughter of Jeff and Jodi Egeland, North Mankato.
  • Rosalee Moske is a senior accounting major from Parkers Prairie. She’s a member of the Accounting Club and Book Club. The Parkers Prairie Secondary graduate is the daughter of Anthony and Michelle Moske.

Christian Johnson and Kobey Block teamed up in the Financial Statement Analysis category placing eighth overall. 

  • Kobey Block is in his second year at MSUM with a double major in accounting and economics. The Detroit Lakes High School graduate is in the Accounting Club and will be a resident assistant next year. His parents are Jason Block and Sarah Carlson.
  • Christian Johnson is a junior accounting major active in Accounting Club, Chi Alpha, intramural basketball and is a student-nominated advisor to the Dean of the College of Business, Analytics & Communication. A graduate of Menahga High School, he’s the son of Matthew and Pamela Johnson.

Brynn Havis and Holly Bratsch teamed up in the Business-to-Business Marketing category placing ninth overall.

  • Holly Bratsch is a second-year finance major who is active in the Financial Management Association, Beta Gamma Sigma, Club Ultimate Frisbee, National Society of Leadership and Success and Wind Ensemble. She is a graduate of Renville County West and the daughter of Darin and Stacy Bratsch, Danube.
  • Brynn Havis is a second-year accounting and finance major who serves on the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee, Accounting Club, College of Business, Analytics & Communication Student Advisory Board, Beta Gamma Sigma and the Financial Management Association. The East Grand Forks Senior High School graduate is the daughter of Shaun and Kristen Havis.