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DECA students prepare for international competition

DECA+member+Jordan+Russek%2C+works+as+a+cashier+in++the+student+store.+Russek+will+be+attending+Internationals%2C+in+Anaheim%2C+California.
DECA member Jordan Russek, works as a cashier in  the student store. Russek will be attending Internationals, in Anaheim, California.

DECA member Jordan Russek, works as a cashier in the student store. Russek will be attending Internationals, in Anaheim, California.

DECA member Jordan Russek, works as a cashier in the student store. Russek will be attending Internationals, in Anaheim, California.

Izzy Cantwell, staff writer

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DECA is a world-wide business-oriented club that prepares students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Throughout the year, students participate in several competitions and, if they qualify, finish the year at an International competition (ICDC) where they compete with students from across the globe. This year, nine students qualified for a spot at ICDC, which is tied for the most amount of students in Cactus Shadows history.

“The students gain so much through DECA.  Confidence — any time they’re afraid to stand up to people, the competitions help them get confidence.  It also helps them with leadership skills,” said Louise Rochford, Marketing teacher and DECA adviser.

Earlier this year, students participated in two competitions: the district competition was in January and  the state competition took place in February.  In order to receive a spot at State, each contestant had to meet certain qualifications at the district competition.

The international competition will be held in Anaheim, California on April 25th through the 29th. The top three placers will earn a thousand dollars to use towards college.

“There will be approximately 18,000 thousand students from all across America, Canada, Germany, Guam, Puerto Rico and many other countries,” said Rochford.

DECA students dedicate a lot of time after school for meetings and to prepare for competitions. Students do not know the exact problem they will be given at competition, so they practice by reviewing past competitions.

“At competitions, you get a certain amount of time to come up with a business or marketing plan and then present it to a judge,” said Jordan Russek a junior who joined DECA this year.

Contestants are presented with unique problems they need to solve. These can be issues regarding potential threats to companies or ways to make the company grow. The teams present their solutions in front of judges. The ones with the highest scores are advanced to the next level of competition.

“They give you seven key points that you should hit (during competition) when talking to the judge, which include potential threats to your chosen company and ways of expansion. You will score better if you present each key point to the judges,” said Russek.

The competition is fierce, and students need to make sure they are prepared to make important decisions quickly.

“We are given a scenario on how to market a certain franchise. We get thirty minutes to prepare and then we are given fifteen minutes to present to a judge, who judges us based on the information we give them,” said Katie Inman, a junior. Both Inman and Russek qualified and will be going to Anaheim later this month to compete in ICDC.

The club is designed for students who are looking to pursue business or politics after high school.  It teaches students how to think through solutions that a large company might face. Students learn how to present arguments, interview, make resumes and work with technology.

“If you take a marketing class, DECA is a great club to join because you learn the same skills and it looks really good on a resume,” said Inman.

DECA also encourages members to volunteer and give back to their communities. Before entering in competitions, students must reach a certain amount of hours in volunteer work.

DECA was first started 56 years ago and now has over 220,000 thousand members, eight thousand of those members from Arizona.  

 

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The Voice of Cactus Shadows High School
DECA students prepare for international competition