DECA Members qualify for International Competition

By Staff Writers Evangeline Chang & Joelle Chuang

MSJ DECA attended the State Career Development Conference (SCDC) from March 3 to 6, winning over 22 awards and qualifying 48 members to the International Career Development Conference (ICDC), held in Anaheim from April 26 to 29. All members competed in this annual conference, which took place at the Santa Clara Marriot.

This past year, MSJ DECA implemented a new Marketing Career Technical Education (CTE) course as a sixth and seventh period class that each DECA member is required to take. Taught by Social Studies Teacher Belinda Eugster, students learn the fundamentals of marketing, entrepreneurship, and the stock market. They also have the opportunity to practice their competitive events, consisting of roleplays and written reports.

The CTE class benefited MSJ DECA’s performance at SCDC this year. MSJ DECA Co-President Senior Alisha Agarwal said, “Last year, we had approximately 30 percent [of our members] make it to ICDC, versus this year, about half of our members qualified.” Out of 107 total members, 80 placed top ten in their events, and 48 placed in the top four, securing them spots at ICDC, which will take place in Anaheim from April 26 to 29. There, they will represent California and compete with DECA members from around the world. Eugster said, “I did have several students who told me that in their written [reports], they added concepts that they learned in class, and they were familiar with more acronyms as well.”  

As for the future, Eugster will continue to teach the CTE class. She said, “From my perspective, I think next year it will be a lot easier to know what’s expected, and how to fine-tune [the class] so that it is more aimed towards the club.” Because members who have already taken the class this year do not need to take it again, the officer team plans to create a new system that allows for more DECA preparation outside of the class. Agarwal said, “We are definitely hoping to slowly bring our membership up back to where it used to be before the CTE class, but at the same time we want to make sure that those students who have already taken the class will still have the competitive preparation that they need to succeed in competition.”

The CTE class has not only had an impact on the performance of MSJ DECA at SCDC, but overall, the club has also matured. DECA Adviser Tyler Robinson said, “Students who really want to be in DECA are willing to take a class, and those who aren’t a hundred percent dedicated or have other things aren’t. So, the quality of students who are in competition is significantly higher.” Not only has the Marketing class allowed DECA members to excel in competitions, but it provided a forum for people of similar interests to connect and share ideas. Eugster said, “Just being with each other every day makes it feel more like a team.”

Photo Courtesy Sophomore Rishi Chillara

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