DECA excels at Silicon Valley Career Development Conference

In their first year of registration, Carlmont DECA returns from the 2018 Silicon Valley Career Development Conference with both a high winning percentage and elated members.

Kylie Lin, Scotlight Editor-in-Chief

Carlmont DECA exceeded all expectations with their performance at the 2018 Silicon Valley Career Development Conference (SVCDC) from Jan. 5-7.

“We’ve had a very strong group of students take on some leadership roles and do some amazing things in a very short time,” club adviser John Rowe said. “They’ve been working really hard every Wednesday after school to teach themselves and each other all about business practices.”

DECA, which stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a club that prepares members for careers in all aspects of business, including finance, marketing, hospitality, and more. With branches on both the high school and collegiate level, it forms an expansive organization of students worldwide. These students learn about business and compete at conferences like the SVCDC.

After several years of being out of commission, Carlmont’s DECA was reinstated this past school year (2017-2018) by sophomore Selena Sun, the current club president. Despite the new members’ lack of competitive experience, however, Carlmont emerged from the SVCDC with high-ranking results across the board.

“I feel like there’s this common misconception that DECA is this club exclusive to people who have done business before… but honestly, it’s for everyone.

— Selena Sun

“Even though it’s our first year, we had really strong competition,” Sam Fields, a senior, said. “We placed three people in top three out of 20 overall, and we had nine overall finalists who were the top eight in their division. It’s really impressive for us.”

Fields, along with Sun and sophomore Denise Zhou, collectively placed eighth out of 53 teams in the Start-Up Business Plan competition.

Justin Som, a senior, placed sixth out of 68 contestants in the Principles of Business Administration section. In the same competition, Sun placed fifth.

In Principles of Hospitality and Tourism, sophomore Lilianna Gittoes placed second out of 60. Finally, in Principles of Marketing, freshman Skyler Campbell placed third while freshman Jessica Ma placed first, both out of 95 contestants.

Now that the SVCDC has come to pass, the club is looking towards their next goal: the 2018 state conference held in Anaheim, California. Students who place high enough at the state conference will be eligible to participate in the 2018 national conference at Atlanta, Georgia.

And further down the road, once the school year is over, DECA is looking to increase their members. New business courses will be introduced for students hoping to join DECA in upcoming years.

Rowe said, “Next year, we’ll start offering some business courses — we’ll have an introduction to business course where all DECA club members will be required to take the course if they want to participate in the events. So, we should have even more success next year, because students will actually have a class to take.”

Sun, along with the other current members of DECA, strongly encourage participation in the club. All students are welcomed, regardless of whether or not they have prior skill in business or not.

“I feel like there’s this common misconception that DECA is this club exclusive to people who have done business before or have family members in business, but honestly, it’s for everyone,” Sun said. “When I started the club, I basically didn’t know anything about business. But, after I joined DECA and participated in competition, I actually learned so much in the process that I belong in the club now. I feel like everybody can feel that way too.”