Deca dominates: Club sees major improvement over the year


By Julia Harris, Staff Reporter

Accompanying Package by Grace Kuryan, Co-Multimedia Editor

This year, more than 30 students joined DECA, a club that prepares high schoolers for business careers. Now, a record number of club members have qualified for the international competition, the International Career Development Conference, which was held in Orlando, Florida from April 22-25.

“Last year we only had around 15 going to (inter)nationals and this year we’ve pretty much doubled that,” junior and DECA community chair Hirah Ashiq said. “I think a lot of that is just the new people coming in. They’re really excited about it because they’ve seen the success from last year, and people were overall really motivated to make it better.”

This growth was not a huge surprise to returning members. To gain membership, the leadership board posted on Schoology and aired GMS advertisements. Further, many students mentioned DECA competitions to friends and teachers.

“I told a bunch of my friends about it, and I think a lot of people who did well told their friends. Then they joined and invited more people,” junior Lex Shah said. “It just kind of grew a very substantial amount.”

However, at the end of last year, DECA members were not sure if they would be able to continue competing this year because they needed a new teacher adviser. Spanish teacher Ashley Carter stepped up and was pleasantly surprised at how much success club members have had so far.

“I didn’t know how many were going to go to the individual competitions, so I was kind of surprised to see how well they did this year and how many students are able to move on to the next level,” Carter said.

Students believe that ICDC placements will demonstrate how much they improved this year. With over 20,000 high school students, teacher-advisers, business professionals and alumni attending, it is much more difficult to receive an award at the international level.

“ICDC is way harder than any other thing in DECA, just because there are so many people in your category,” Shah said. “You’re grouped into subgroups and then you have to be first place in the sub- group to make it to the next round. I hope it goes well, but I don’t really have the highest of hopes.”

Each competition consists of a 100-question test on business principles and at least one roleplay with a business professional. Because many students qualified for ICDC, the DECA board held a Krispy Kreme fundraiser on March 28 to purchase DECA+. DECA+ offers online resources and practice exams to help members study for the tests and roleplays.

“Since we have so many people going to ICDC this year, it would be kind of a waste to have all these people go and not place. So, we wanted to offer a little bit more materials for our members,” Ashiq said.

Although the DECA+ sub- scription will expire at the end of this school year, club leaders plan to purchase it again early next year so all members can access the resources. They also hope that many more students will consider joining DECA.

“I think everyone should join the club, even if you’re not going into business. You can learn how to prepare yourself for an interview, which is just a life skill everyone should learn,” Ashiq said. “It’s just a lot of fun going to competitions and not a lot of other clubs do overnight competitions. I think we’re really a one-of-a-kind club.”

Overall, Carter and the DECA board members are pleased with how this year has been going. They are also excited to see how the club continues to grow in upcoming years.

“I’m really happy because to have a lot more members in the club means that we are one of the biggest clubs in Conestoga, and we’re going to have a presence for years to come,” said senior and president Saj Agarwala. “I want to say congratulations to all of my DECA members. They are really making a footprint on PA DECA .”

Julia Harris can be reached at [email protected].