Diving into the DECA Competition

Photo Credit: Texas DECA

Photo Credit: Texas DECA

DECA, formerly known as the Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a business competition where students from across the globe compete in business focused competitions and roleplays. These competitions are either individual or with a group, and this year at LTHS 173 students advanced to State competitions. State competitions took place March 9-11 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas and students prepared for these contests in various ways. 


Sophomore Neha Vimal Raj provided information about the event she is competing in and what the event entails.


“The event that I have selected to compete in is the Individual Series: Marketing Communications event and this event is based on all the marketing aspects of a business and in what ways I could implement different marketing strategies depending on the role-play scenario,” Vimal Raj said.


Practicing styles are individualized but one common theme between some ways to attain the best role is through roleplays. 


“Some ways I’m preparing for this trip is by doing practice role plays (using my mom as my judge),” sophomore Abigail Huang said. “I also have been studying the PIs (performance indicators) for my event. I want to make sure that I can speak with full confidence and no stuttering.


DECA not only teaches how to conduct business techniques, but also teaches lifelong skills such as public speaking. 


“Something I enjoy about being in DECA is the learning opportunities I gain from it. I think I’ve become a better spokesperson overall from these roleplays, and it’s made me more confident in my speaking,” Huang said. “Additionally, being in DECA has also taught me to work better under pressure and think more outside the box. We have a 10-minute time limit for preparing our roleplay, which forces me to use my time wisely.


DECA President Suhani Saxena, a senior, explained how having leadership positions helps students learn to manage their time and build connections with others as well as the practical application of skills learned throughout high school.


“Being a DECA officer for 2 years has taught me so much about communicating, teamwork, and leadership,” Saxena said. “Becoming president this year allowed me to implement some of the ideas that I had personally for example the training events and such, but more importantly, I believe it taught me a lot about how to work with others and do the best I can.”


Shreenidhi Kunta, a sophomore who is the DECA Social Media Manager, described the fluctuating emotions she experiences as she competes, and how practice makes the challenges more bearable. 


“The best thing about competing is definitely the excitement that comes with performing a professional roleplay,” Kunta said. “I love that I can utilize my business skills in a real world setting. One of the difficulties is definitely the nerves before the roleplay. Although I’ve learned to control them over time, everyone still feels competition nerves once in a while.


Clubs usually require outside effort and DECA is not an exception. DECA requires determination and practice as students progress through levels of competition, but it is difficult to find time during a busy school year.


“A challenge I face while being in DECA is how time-consuming it can be,” Huang said. “I usually don’t have much free time to study for DECA competitions/tests, forcing me to usually have to cram a couple of nights before the event.”

Despite having to juggle school work and extracurriculars, Saxena detailed how DECA allows students to further their business skills, but also allows them to grow close to the DECA community and make lasting, joyful memories.

“Since it is my senior year, I think I am most looking forward to making the most of the experience,” Saxena said. “I still remember what I did my freshman year at state, and since it is potentially one of the last trips I will take as a high school student with all of my friends, I just want to make the memories and have fun with everyone else!”