Victor Leca

Victor Leca
After immigrating to the United States from Brazil in March 2020, Victor Leca set his sights on a college degree. He chose Oakton as a smart first step, and built on his passion for entrepreneurship and leadership through DECA, an organization that prepares students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

Choosing Oakton
“I’m from Recife, Brazil and I came to the United States with my mom and sister. I had never been prepared for college applications. I lived in the College and Career Center at Niles North High School where I would just apply to a bunch of colleges. I got accepted to a lot of them. But then I thought it wouldn’t make sense for me to go somewhere far away and pay a lot of money. So I ended up going to Oakton. It’s a good education for an affordable price. And it’s about 30 minutes from my house, so I’m able to have a normal routine.

I think Oakton is really underrated. It’s a small college where you get to interact with teachers and a lot of them are experienced in a lot of different industries. They love what they do and they have a lot of knowledge to pass on to us. You can learn a lot and have hands-on experience even though it’s not a huge university. There are more opportunities than you think socially for clubs and lots of opportunities for career development and internship opportunities.”

A Passion for Entrepreneurship
“I’m doing the business and professional services pathway so I’ll get an associate degree and then I’ll transfer to a new school for my bachelor’s degree in business administration. From there I want to start my own business. In Brazil, there are a bunch of social and economic obstacles that you have to face to start a business. It’s something that I was never exposed to before I got here to the United States.

In high school, I found out about DECA, which is an entrepreneurship and business club. I went to a couple of the competitions, and I ended up being among the top 15 in the state in my first year. When I came to Oakton, I became president of the DECA club. With DECA we learn how to lead, how to make event plans, how to talk with people and network. It helps you get jobs and internships. Our chapter now qualified for the international DECA competition in Austin, Texas in April, and we'll compete against many different colleges and universities around the country and the world.”

Harnessing the Drive to Succeed
“In Brazil, I’d watch some shows in English and NBA games with subtitles, and I could speak some English, but when I came to the United States I had a really strong Brazilian accent. I would stumble over words and I wasn’t able to communicate clearly. But I’m talking to you right now, and I have almost no Brazilian accent. Having this experience, engaging with people and meeting new people and networking at Oakton, it really helps if you’re an immigrant to develop your English and your communication skills.

My mom and my sister and my family in Brazil know what I’m trying to do here, like so many immigrants before me who have become successful business owners. It’s kind of the immigrant mentality where you want to succeed to provide a better life for you and your family. I have that drive.”