Cole Bachmeier, a refining engineer at MPC’s Mandan refinery, had a homecoming of sorts when he was invited to serve as one of the alumni keynote speakers, judge and awards emcee at the 2021 North Dakota Career Development Conference.
Held in Bismarck, North Dakota, the conference is hosted by Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), a high school and collegiate organization focused on preparing the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to be college and career ready. During the conference, students have the opportunity to compete – individually or as a team – in competitions that test their ability to solve, present and utilize a range of business skills.
Bachmeier spent three years in the program during high school. He and a partner were state champions his senior year in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing Team category. His time in the program also allowed him to participate at the international level each year, one of which he earned his way to being an international finalist.
“I enjoyed DECA because it provided me the confidence and opportunity to work on soft skills and improve communication,” said Bachmeier. “Something I think has greatly benefited my career as an engineer.”
In addition to his passion for engineering, the program also inspired Bachmeier’s love for business and management. He’s currently pursuing his Master of Business Administration (MBA).
“Returning to DECA as a proud alum of the program was a really humbling experience,” Bachmeier shared. “Watching these high schoolers utilize their skills at such a high level brought back great memories. This program truly prepared me for the next step.”