DECA goes virtual

DECA District V Competition held virtually for the first time


Kari Michalek

Lina Mina, Michael Tao, and Lily Hiduke compete in the virtual Role Play event

Taylor Chronert, Staff Reporter

Fifty-eight students participated in the DECA district contest held virtually Dec. 3-10. Due to the competition being virtual, results won’t be announced until January. 

“If a student ends up advancing from district, he or she will compete at the Texas DECA CDC in early March of 2021,” DECA sponsor Kari Michalek said. “It is still similar to district, but we don’t know yet if the competition will be virtual or in person.”

DECA is a co-curricular student organization for students interested in the field of business, marketing, finance, and hospitality. Students get the chance to compete against different schools and give speeches, presentations, and do roleplay in which they have to act out as business people and give a solution to a scenario. 

“I enjoy the competition,” sophomore Bryan Dam said. “Not only were we competing and having fun, but we were also learning about the real world and marketing and I got to see where it was that I have to improve in.” 

Covid-19 caused a huge change to DECA’s competition. Last year the International Career Development Center got canceled due to Covid-19. There was speculation that after ICDC got canceled, the district competition would get canceled as well.

“When I found out that the district competition was happening (but) virtually, I was really happy and excited,” senior Aayush Dwiviedi said. “I thought that because with ICDC getting canceled last year, they would cancel the district competition.” 

Things were different as the DECA district competition switched to virtual. There was more time for preparing as well as getting the chance to fix and resubmit. Some students thought it was more relaxed.

“It wasn’t too hard having the competition be virtual,” sophomore Lahari Suraparaju said. “It felt quite convenient because we were allowed to work in the comfort of our homes. 

Having the competition virtual did cause some tension and stress for others. 

“In the past, we went to a different school and presented to a judge,” junior Ashritha Chandy said. “We knew what everyone was doing and what they had planned, but having it virtual this year, we didn’t know what anyone was doing this year or what they had planned, plus we were given more time to prepare this year, so I was really nervous.”

Typically on a competition day, students would have to get up at 5 in the morning and spend an hour to get to district. Dwevidi said that it was more relaxing since they didn’t have to do that this year. 

“I felt like I could get stuff done,” Dwevidi said. “With the extra time we got and the more time to plan, and the fact that I did everything at home, it was way more relaxing.”    

Dam said that the experience he got from the competition being virtual, was that he learned about time management. 

“Since it was at the time of the six weeks ending, it was stressful,” Dam said. “I had both schoolwork and preparing for DECA to focus on, so the competition definitely taught me how to plan my time well and how to manage my time.” 

This competition felt like a historical moment for Chandy. 

“I’ve been doing Deca for the past three years now, and this is the third year I’ve competed,” Chandy said. “Throughout those times we were in person, but this is the first year we were virtual. Taking part in a DECA competition that was something new  and something that hasn’t been done before was exciting.”