DECA prepares to compete

Club begins to practice for January event


Yonit Krebs

Seniors Anya Morrsion and Susanna Hu discuss their preparation plan for the upcoming DECA competitions.

As DECA looks forward to upcoming competitions this winter, the club prepared by signing up its members for specific events, according to sophomore Grace Schultz.

“So far we all signed up for events,” Schultz said. “For first-year people, most people are doing an interview and a hospitality and tourism thing. We don’t know too much about it yet as we are still really new to it.”

DECA adviser Sophia Ross said each student chooses from over 50 different events to find the one that they will compete in.

“(Events vary) from doing a mock employment interview to choosing a product and selling that particular product,” Ross said. “We also do some impromptu role plays where the student would play the role of a manager and the judge of the competition would play the role of a customer, and they have to figure how they are going to handle that problem and then present their solutions to the judge.”

DECA communications officer, senior Maddie Hoffman said it can be challenging to prepare for the role-play competitions.

“I’ve done an employment interview, and I’ve done a role-play with apparel and accessories,” Hoffman said. “The preparation for those is just based on what the judge asks you, so you can’t prepare too much, but they give you 15 minutes to review before the actual role-play.”

According to Ross, club members will prepare for their specific competitions in focused learning and preparation sessions.

“We will have breakout sessions for specific events to help prepare students — like printing out the guideline and understanding the guidelines and starting to work on the project,” Ross said. “We will have different breakout sessions based on what (students) are competing in all through the month of November and to December, and then competitions aren’t until January.”

Ross said some DECA members will also be planning and practicing in several other business courses at Park.

“Some students are preparing in classes that they are taking because in a lot of our business and marketing classes we do DECA competitive events in there as class projects. Then the students have an option to take that a step further and compete in that in a DECA conference,” Ross said.

According to Ross, district competition include schools from many of the western suburbs of Minneapolis.

“The district competition is called the District Career Development Conference. We are apart of district six which includes schools like Wayzata, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Orono, Chaska, Chanhassen, St. Louis Park and there is a new private school that is joining our district this year,” Ross said.

Schultz said she will be competing in an interview as well as in hospitality and tourism.

“I am doing an employment interview where it’s like a mock interview where someone interviews you for a job, and then I am doing one about hospitality and tourism, which I’m not really sure what it’s about quite yet,” Schultz said.

According to Hoffman, she advises new DECA members to push through even when preparing for the competitions gets difficult.

“(I would tell students to) just stick with it, and it might seem really hard and confusing, but we’re here to help and overall you are going to have such a good experience,” Hoffman said.

Ross said she hopes students will come away from competitions with important, practical experience and practice that can prepare them for the professional world.

“I have a lot of goals for the competition for the students. Number one is just to give the students that experience to think on their feet and do real-world projects that might do in your job,” Ross said. “They get to practice their professionalism and their public speaking skills. So for me and for DECA, it’s all about exposing students and giving them the experience to practice those things.”