DECA prepares students for more than a career in business

Arianna Bayangos, Scot Scoop News Editor

Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) molds the future businesspeople of Carlmont. DECA is a worldwide business organization that exposes students to a career in business in fields such as finance, marketing, hospitality and tourism, and entrepreneurship.

Carlmont graduate Rachel Lin started DECA’s chapter during her senior year. Lin said, “During my junior year, I noticed that Carlmont was missing a space to cultivate business leaders and allow those who were interested in learning about entrepreneurship to explore the various sectors of business.” 

Carlmont DECA poses with Chef Jeff at the leadership  Photo provided by Arianna Bayangos.

Lin noticed that the DECA members in the South Bay were heavily involved in their chapters, so she decided that it was time for Carlmont to start its own.

Carlmont DECA’s chapter continues to be active in DECA by attending conferences to compete against other high schools in Silicon Valley. There are four conferences throughout the competition season: the leadership conference in November, the district conference in January, the state conference in February/March, and the international conference in April/May.

During the competitions, participants choose an event to compete in either individually or with a group. Some of the events include Food Marketing, Accounting, and Sports and Entertainment.

Participants first take an assessment in the category they are placed in. The next day, they receive a business scenario to roleplay in front of a judge who specializes in that particular field. The presentations are usually 10 to 30 minutes long.

In addition to competing, the conferences are a way for students to network with one another as well as to hear professionals’ career experience and success stories.

Junior Kelly Liu, DECA Vice President of Competitions, said, “I loved going to [the] International Career Development Conference (ICDC)  in Anaheim in 2013. Even though I wasn’t competing, I got to meet people all across the country and learn why they were passionate about DECA. It’s amazing how much diversity there is in the DECA chapters around the world.”

Some members of Carlmont DECA aren’t intending to pursue business for their careers, but they have found the skills learned from DECA valuable and critical for the future.

Carlmont graduate Alexis Wilson said, “DECA has made me think about the real world. It has changed my perceptions of the work force for sure. I learned that business applies to every career. You must learn to be a leader and [to] have business-like skills including competency, motivation, and independence to succeed in any career in which one may choose.”