BY NUHA ISLAM
From April 18 to 23, DECA headed west to Anaheim, California for the annual International Career Conference competition. Filling rows of airplane seats, the DECA students packed their suits and their tri-fold displays with them, armed with high ambitions and plans for a great trip.
“I’m super proud of my team, and all the work they put into competition preparation,” DECA senior president Max Mickenberg said. “The turnout far exceeded my expectations and I’m glad to graduate on such a high note.”
After placing in the Florida statewide competition, the next step forward was nationals for the qualifies.
“My project involves the marketing for a sports company, and we analyzed their profit margins, and sales techniques,” DECA officer Aiden Adams said. “I worked collaboratively Sam Mickenberg and Alex Katsotis, two of my good friends.”
DECA competition comes in the form of various events: personal financial literacy, hospitality and tourism, finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, business management and entrepreneurship and finance.
Presidents Max Mickenberg and Matt Plonskier both placed on the national level.
But the competition wasn’t the end-all, be-all. The team also went to Disneyland, the west coast Disney World rival.
“Aside from competing, I’m really excited we get to see the set of my favorite show F.R.I.E.N.D.S,” sophomore Kristina Smith said. “DECA tournaments are always so well organized, and I’m thrilled to go to nationals this year.”
This year nationals fell the weekend before AP exams. All of the national qualifiers fell into the bracket of AP testers, so everyone adjusted accordingly. Some of the underclassmen also missed standardized reading tests as well.
“I have my AP Chemistry and Psychology exam both on the first Monday, and we get back on Sunday,” Adams said. “It’s really putting a strain on all of us, because typically I need a day to recuperate from travel trips. I missed FSAs and I lose that last weekend to review as well.”
On top of the annual national tournament, many of DECA’s leadership took a trip to New York recently to attend a conference on Saturday, April 8.
“Spring is always super stressful, with finals and whatnot,” DECA senior Cayla Yellen said. “Most of us are seniors, and have received our college acceptances. I’d be more concerned as an underclassmen, who is still developing their resume. It’s important to never let academics fall in the pursuit of extracurriculars.”
Nonetheless, participation in DECA is something many enjoy. Junior Britney Shectman has found her passion through the club. Working with a partner, her presentation marketing a fashion company placed at the local and state levels before qualifying for nationals.
“I recommend everyone to take the class, even if you don’t think it’s for you. DECA shows you the door to many different aspects of business, and through it I’ve determined I would love to major in finance,” Shectman said.
The many DECA classes, encapsulating finance, business management, fashion and everything in-between aims to prepare emerging entrepreneurs and give them a foundation in basics of business. This foothold gives students a competitive edge as they venture into the world.
“I was super excited to attend nationals as a freshman last year, and the excitement still remains this time around. I look forward to the next two years of my involvement with DECA, and the many opportunities it brings,”Adams said.