Business brilliance: DECA advances to nationals


Business breakthrough: Seniors Moolaveesala and Hannah Zhou stand with their DECA trophies at the Pa. State competition. They will participate in nationals in Orlando.

By Ananya Kulkarni, Web Editor

The Conestoga chapter of the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) had 20 members qualify for nationals at the state-level competition, which took place on Feb. 21. While the club has been successful the past two years, it has also grown immensely in that time, making Conestoga the seventh-largest DECA chapter in the state.

“I think the club has grown so fast in the past years because it gives students the opportunity to learn about something that isn’t covered in classrooms,” said senior Suma Moolaveesala, who serves as club president and PA District 11 representative. “It’s about how you present yourself, your public speaking and creativity.”

To qualify for nationals, DECA students have to be in the top four places at the state level competition. DECA competitions consist of a 100-question exam and a business roleplay scenario. The roleplays model real world situations, such as a hotel manager asking a client to determine room pricing and to evaluate competitors’ marketing skills.

“DECA is beneficial club for students to participate in because they gain confidence and experience by presenting roleplays to business people who work in a variety of industries,” club adviser Katie Walter said.

The organization also hosts several challenges throughout the year in order to assess entrepreneurship skills.

“As someone who is largely interested in finance, it (DECA) has enhanced my experience at Conestoga by letting me compete in my interests not really available to students in core or elective classes,” junior Josh Merrill said.

Though students donate their time laying groundwork for success, the experience makes it worth the effort.

“I love DECA because it showed me that there’s  a place for someone like me in the business field,” Moolaveesala said. “My hopes for the future are that DECA continues to inspire students and helps others realize there are other paths in life and it is up to you to find what sparks your interest and explore it without fear.”

The next step for DECA is nationals in Orlando from April 17-30.