By Caroline Cho
From March 2 to 5, the Distributive Education Clubs of America, or DECA, team will compete in the annual high school division DECA State Conference in Santa Clara.
DECA is a rigorous program centered on building strong expertise in entrepreneurship, business management, administration, marketing, finance, and hospitality. The upcoming live competition will put students to the test in two main rounds: Roleplay and Written Events.
These events measure a student’s knowledge and skill in both academic and technical content across the spectrum of marketing, finance, hospitality and business management and administration.
Roleplay consists of a case study that informs students of their role and their judge’s role. They are given between 10 to 30 minutes to prepare their pitch and then 10 minutes to present to their judge with 5 minutes at the end saved for questions from the judge.
In the written event, students are presented with a prompt before the actual competition. They are given months to prepare what they will present and, in some cases, they must write essays or create visuals as well.
In addition to the live competitions, there are also workshops and conferences aimed to train students and expose them to business experiences.
To prepare, the DECA team collaborates with current students from the California State University of Northridge (CSUN) Business Honors Association (BHA) to practice impromptu roleplays with the representatives acting as the judges.
Unlike last year, students attended eight mandatory meetings on Fridays after school in order to ensure thorough preparation.
However, the team’s increasing size has made gathering the entire team difficult. Therefore, in order to reach out to all of the members and give them more opportunities to study, DECA advisor Andrew Nelson posts one-hundred practice test questions on the website Socrative.
After extensive preparation, the DECA team participated in an interschool Mini Conference on February 4 with Simi Valley High School in the Highlander Hall. Among the twenty-five adult judges, twenty of them were Granada alumni. Besides allowing students an opportunity to practice, Nelson also makes sure a tight connection exists between current Granada students and their alumni. This strengthens networking for future business opportunities.
“Knowledge of business is necessary in almost any career path you take. Even though we have different goals and ideas for our future, DECA brings us together as a team of wonderful, hardworking students who I have no doubt will all be successful later on in life,” senior and DECA co-president Bria Rosenberg said.