By Eric Xue, Co-Convergence Editor
Twice every month, the members of the DECA Club meet to prepare for the area and state DECA competitions and for the first time in the club’s history, the national competition as well. Together, they work toward improving each other’s skills, whether it be developing marketing strategies or solving various problems encountered in the business world.
DECA, which stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America, is an international association that prepares students for careers in marketing, finance and other business areas. The organization hosts competitions of various levels, beginning at the high school level and going to the professional level. The DECA Club at Conestoga participates in these competitions, and its members are tested on both their knowledge as well as their problem solving capabilities. Club president and senior Max Howarth describes what makes DECA so appealing.
“It’s a great club with great competition. It’s very low maintenance. We’ve been very successful in every level even though it was our first year,” Howarth said. “It gives you a great chance to practice public speaking and learn marketing strategies to prepare you for the business world.”
Originally called the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club, its name was changed to DECA this year when senior Erfan Shakibaei suggested that the club participate in DECA competitions instead of those held by the FBLA. This transition went along with the graduation of many of the club’s senior members last year. With its start-up this year, Howarth had several goals in mind that he wanted to achieve.
“As president of the club I’ve wanted to see attendance grow and have more people qualify for states and nationals, which is what we’ve done this year,” Howarth said.
Being the only business competition club at Conestoga, club adviser and former participant Katie Buckley believes the DECA Club can benefit many students. Through DECA, students can practice thinking on their feet and enhance their interview and presentation skills. Because of this, DECA is club that anyone could easily fit into.
“Any student can join DECA. Anyone who’s interested in potentially pursuing business after high school would definitely benefit from this club,” Buckley said. “It would also benefit any student who wants to practice their ability to speak in front of an adult audience and who wants to compete against very vigorous, high level students.”
Despite only starting this year, the club gained several new members and was able to compete in the national competition. While it is his last year at Conestoga, Howarth describes DECA as “a lot of fun” and “an experience of a lifetime” that he will never forget.
Eric Xue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.