23 DECA qualifiers head to Nationals

Betsy Faris, News Editor

Imagine you’re handed a random scenario, and have to pull together a presentation in less than 30 minutes while your heart is pounding out of your chest. After those short moments have passed, you’re presenting to a judge, pretending to be a business consultant, with a brilliant strategy.
This is how it feels to compete as a DECA student.
Due to all of the DECA presenters’ hard work at the SCDC (State Career Development Conference) in early March, many competitors placed in the top margin of their event and are headed to nationals in the national competition, which will be held at the end of April in Nashville.
“The most memorable moment from SCDC was when we were sitting in a theater watching the awards ceremony and my group got called up. I was so shocked we had won, “ junior Katie Sveinsson said.
All second- year DECA students are required to write a 30 page market research paper. Some competitors compete with their paper, and some compete in other events, such as case studies, and Role Play. Role Plays entails preparing a presentation and presenting to a judge, and case studies means the competitors are given a topic and then have to create a presentation in 30 minutes.
The competition starts at Area, which was held at Bellevue earlier this year. Second year students submit their paper, but don’t compete with it until State. This year, the topic was on employee engagement strategies; students are required to market their strategy to get the judges to buy in, hoping to be placed in the top margin.
“State was a lot of fun, and it was great getting to know new people and learn new skills for competing,” junior Jason Hurwitz said.
At SCDC, there are competitions all day and each team has to spend time prepping before each competition. Because so many teams were competing in multiple events, teams rush between convention centers to handle their jam- packed schedules.
“We had chapter conferences at night and then we had to get up really early, so the exhaustion was the hardest part,” Hurwitz said. Being exhausted made it really hard to get stuff done.”
Mock competition happened in December, which was an opportunity for the teams to learn what they needed to improve on before the real completion. The judges gave feedback to the competitors, which allowed them to change their presentations and make them better. The practice round also gave them a chance to see what the competition environment would be like.
“If I had to give any advice about State, it would be to spend your downtime prepping for your event instead of hanging out with your friends in the hotel,” senior Sarah Belali said.