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Ready for It: DECA Experiences State Success

Brooke Abramson, Reporter

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The entire DECA chapter went to the state competition in Dallas Feb. 21-23. All 56 members advanced from district and 39 are heading to the next level — the International Career Development Conference (ICDC), which goes from April 27- May 1 in Orlando, Florida.

“Joining has possibly been the most important and best decision I have made in my life so far,” sophomore Skye Nguyen, a member of one of the 13 ICDC teams, said. “It’s been so amazing to have such a close bond with each other and to support each other no matter what.”

The road to competition was long, as the process began in the middle of the first semester and groups sometimes met twice a week, in addition to designated Saturday practice sessions.

“I enjoyed getting to go to the district competition, as it was my first time,” Nguyen said. “I didn’t know what to expect, but I liked the rush and thrill of getting to compete.”

DECA advisor Charlotte Carr said the best part of leading the DECA program is guiding her students to success.

“When you work really hard on a task and travel with students, you get to see them grow and develop outside of their regular school experiences,” Carr said. “It is a super special feeling to have students turn to you for support and guidance because they know you care about them so much.”

As a program focusing on the field of business, competitors gain first-hand experience in the world of entrepreneurship as they partner with various companies. This year, team members focused on projects that fall under the category of Corporate Social Responsibility, a topic that entailed creating a business plan to develop “self-regulation” to promote the company’s interaction with the community, as well as its profit-production.

With the amount of time put into their projects, competitors say they’ve had to practice some self-regulation themselves in order to get the job done.

“The hardest part has been learning the time management needed to succeed in DECA,” junior Olivia Arguello said.

Junior Garrett Powell worked on customer service with local company Strait Music.

“The hardest part of our project this year was finding a problem in Strait Music Company,” Powell said. “This year’s topic is Corporate Social Responsibility. The only problem is that Strait Music, being a small, local business, already does so much for their community. So, instead of finding a solution, we’re continuing that charitable spirit in our plan.”

Powell has made valuable connections through this year’s project, as he contacted Clint Strait, the vice president of Strait Music.

“I have learned how to connect with a small business,” Powell said. “He was more than willing to work with us, and we had a wonderful time interviewing him. The success I have seen in DECA makes me feel accomplished. It is satisfying to know that I have developed a professional-level solution to a real world problem with a team.”

While DECA is traditionally known as a group for students who are interested in the business field, many members of the program speak of its benefits beyond business. DECA chapter president, senior Meghana Karimisetty, says being a part of the club has improved her people skills.

“DECA has actually made me more social. I moved from a different middle school than everyone else so when I came to Vista, I had to start over with making friends,” Karimisetty said. “DECA was the first place I made a solid group of friends and has turned me into an extroverted person. DECA is a great place to get to know people, learn professional skills for the real world and find your career path. DECA is not just for people interested in business; it’s for everyone.”

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Ready for It: DECA Experiences State Success