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Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

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DECA competitors travel to Houston for state competition

DECA+members+compete+at+state+level+against+students+from+all+over+Texas.+Two+teams+advanced+to+the+International+Career+Development+Conference.
Nicholas Benson
DECA members compete at state level against students from all over Texas. Two teams advanced to the International Career Development Conference.

DECA competitors traveled to Houston from Feb. 15-17 to compete at the state level, in order to qualify for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC). DECA is an organization focused on cultivating business and entrepreneurship skills in high school students.

“It’s definitely intimidating because you will meet people who will talk about how they went to ICDC last year and placed third in the world,” junior Anvitha Kandula said. “It’s easy to get intimidated, but honestly, I think you have to be a lot more confident in yourself at state because you are going up against people who are more prepared and have done DECA for longer.”

Over 7,000 high schoolers from all regions of Texas competed at the conference, with the opportunity to choose from over 50 categories to participate in.

“I competed in [the] Marketing Team Decision Making roleplay event,” senior Ben Fairbanks said. “With roleplay events you are designated a role in the business world. You are given a problem you have to solve, and you have to explain it in the context of performance indicators, while answering the main question.”

For roleplay events, students were given a 15 minute preparation period, and a 15 minute presentation time. For prepared events, such as written and professional selling, students began working on their presentations months before competition. 

“I think a lot of it is just refining and practicing the presentation, and honestly, just being confident, because I think the judges can tell when you are confident or when you’re scared, so I think that makes a big difference,” Kandula said. 

Around 50 Vandegrift students competed in the district competition on Jan. 9, and around half advanced to the state competition the following month. 

“To prepare for state, my partner and I met up almost everyday during PIT and outside of school, to do mock roleplays with samples that are online,” Fairbanks said. “We went through every possible performance indicator, studying all the possible terminology that we needed to know, so we put in a lot of effort to hopefully advance.”

Two teams advanced from states, including a Virtual Business Restaurant team, composed of junior Lucas Roberto, and seniors Zachary Butler and Mihir Gupta, as well as an Entrepreneurship Team Decision-Making team, including seniors Uma Menon and Tanvi Anugu. 

“Even though I didn’t advance, it felt more light hearted,” senior James Penver said. “Your work is not going to be praised and commended every single time, and I think by being shut down you can then appreciate the value of what you do. If you stay invested it will eventually pay off if you are willing to put in the work.”

ICDC will take place Apr. 27-30, in Anaheim, CA, and is the final level of competition, uniting DECA members from all over the world.

“Last year I advanced to ICDC, and one thing that really benefited me was talking to actual industry professionals and getting their professional opinions on my presentation as well as more technical feedback that I can implement, Kandula said.”

For Kandula, DECA serves not only as a way to further her business knowledge, but also as a way to develop skills vital for her future career. 

“It’s less about what you’re presenting and more so the experience of going in and presenting it,” Kandula said. “I’ve done DECA since my freshman year, and at first I was really nervous and uncomfortable with public speaking, but I think DECA has helped me to become more confident with myself and my public speaking skills.”

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About the Contributor
Mary Bahrami, Staff Reporter
Mary Bahrami is a junior and is excited for her first year on staff. Mary is also an athlete on the Steiner Ranch Mountain Biking team and a member of yearbook staff. Outside of school, Mary loves to read, write, and spend time with friends.

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