Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) is providing a platform for students to travel and network while participating in competitions.
To join the club, being in a marketing class is a prerequisite.
DECA advisor and marketing teacher, Kerri Rosenzweig said in order to be visible inside the school, DECA organizes the school store and runs the cookie cart. Money made from both sources is used to fund trips and cover the costs for competitions.
Competitions take place in Virginia Beach, Georgia, California or Florida, and give members traveling opportunities depending on which competition they are participating in.
Rosenzweig said the traveling opportunities are the best part of the club, not only because it is fun, but also because it expands the world for students.
With a total of three competitions every year: districts, states and nationals, students need to place in order to qualify for the next competition.
Competitions can be group projects, solo projects, written events or role plays. Students can choose whichever option is most suitable. All projects need to be presented to a judge because they score the students and decide who will receive awards or place.
“Some people write less, take a test and do role plays. I write 30 pages and do a presentation to a judge because it’s personally easier for me,” Senior and DECA member Erin Hall said. “But everybody’s different and some people prefer writing less, taking tests and more public speaking.”
Role plays consist of getting a prompt, 10 minutes to prepare, and then presenting to the judge.
Rosenzweig said the co-curricular club helps students develop skills outside of what school offers. Students are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zones and reach a goal while learning invaluable amounts of information pertaining to business and their specific area of interest, such as entrepreneurship, finance or hospitality and tourism. This variety ensures that everybody feels involved and can find what they are most passionate or interested about.
Members learn how to stay professional, network and socialize with new people, proactively manage their time, become leaders and polish their presentation skills.
“I have learned how to become a better public speaker, dress and carry myself professionally, expand my knowledge in marketing and use real life skills,” Senior and DECA president, Alex Omar said.
“It’s a real opportunity for kids to develop their leadership skills,” Rosenzweig said.
If students struggle with the workload, they are always given the chance to ask for help from the marketing teachers during class, since a large portion of the work is completed in class time. If they need extra help, students can also ask the officers who stay after school on designated days.