DECA goes to state

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DECA is looking forward to competing in the state competition

Twenty-nine DECA students will compete in the state contest in February.  The roleplay scenario will start on February 8th and 9th. Testing will be from February 10th to the 12th, and submissions will be open from February 10th to the 16th. Overall, more than 100 students from Texas will be competing at the state competition. 

“There [at state] they will work on their submissions to advance to the International competition in April which doesn’t have a set date yet,” DECA sponsor Nicholas Benson said. “International will also be virtual with the same process as the district and state competition, but the quality of student submissions is exceedingly high.”

From December 3rd to December 10th, 58 students participated in the DECA District V competition and this month the results were announced that 29 students qualified for the state competition.

“I was excited and also pretty surprised when I found out,” sophomore Avani Singh said. “It feels pretty good to do well in something that you’ve put your time into, and I’m excited to see what state has in store.”

Usually, at in-person competitions, students would find out who won at the awards ceremony and get their awards there. This year with COVID-19, the awards ceremony was virtual and they had to wait for a month for the actual results.

“I was a little nervous and anxious,” senior Natalee Chu said. “This year was my last chance to do well and I want to start preparing for state because I wasn’t sure if I got in or not.”

What impressed Benson the most throughout the competition, was the dedication the students had for one another.

“These students are motivated by each other,” Benson said. “We have wonderful leaders as our DECA officers who provide mentorship and cultivate our younger members, setting the standard for future chapters, and ultimately our success as a chapter here at Vandegrift High School.”

Chu said that it felt different winning in the Professional Selling event, which is where you have to organize and deliver a sales presentation or consultation for one or more products to different services, and customers. This year she won alongside sophomore Lingshu Pan and freshman Anya Chawla.

“Usually, if you win with someone, you would go to state with them and prepare together,” Chu said. “Since it’s virtual though, we all sent each other text messages congratulating one another, and it’s good that they are in the same boat as you.”

Even though the competition has to be virtual this year, Benson thought that they handled it very well. 

“These students are exceptional and will be some of the leading students, entrepreneurs, and business people of the future,” Benson said. “They handled the changes quite easily. From an advisor standpoint, observing a huge organization, such as DECA, completely revamp the entire competition submission process for tens of thousands of competitors was staggering, but the student’s submissions did not suffer.”

Singh is looking forward to the state competition, where she will compete in Financial Consulting, just because of how great of an opportunity it is. 

“I did state last year so my goals are set onto advancing in the state competition this year,” Singh said. “Although we won’t be able to meet as many new people, I think it’s still a great opportunity and I am really excited.” 

What junior, Matthew Guy said about his experience having the competition being virtual was that it was useful.

“The purpose of the club is to really get used to business things and whatever comes in your way,” Guy said. “

For Chu, DECA has not only given her some confidence but also helped her figure out what she wants to do with her life. 

“I really want to go into business because of DECA,” Chu said. “It’s given me more confidence, helped me be more outgoing, and it helped me learn more about the business world as well as taught me how to be a more confident person.”