From Anaheim Convention Center/plexycolor/flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Carlmont DECA attended the California State Career Development Conference (SCDC) in Anaheim over the weekend to compete in business-related activities in an attempt to qualify for the international competition in Orlando, Florida. In the end, four Carlmont DECA members qualified.
DECA is a non-profit, international organization that strives to prepare students for future jobs in business and management. The high school chapters participate in regional, state, and international competitions.
One important aspect of DECA is competing in business-oriented activities.
“[In competitions] You can compete in both prepared and on-the-spot events that use presentation skills and business knowledge,” said Skyler Campbell, a sophomore.
These competitions draw on DECA-essential skills such as presentation and public speaking.
“Conferences are also a great learning opportunity in terms of business competition, public speaking and writing skills, and preparation for the professional world,” said Lily Gittoes, a junior and co-president.
Many DECA members saw a large improvement in these skills, which drives them to continue and improve.
“I like to compete and enjoy competitive events. It helps you learn about business and build presentation and speaking skills. One-and-a-half years ago I couldn’t have talked for 10 minutes on a random business subject to a judge with good presentation skills and seeing that change is what makes me want to keep going,” said Denise Zhou, a junior.
DECA conferences don’t just involve competing. These conferences provide an opportunity to have fun as well.
“Conferences are a great way to get closer to people and bond. It’s a lot of fun to spend time with your friends while also competing against the best people in the state. We went to Disneyland this past weekend, which was really fun,” Zhou said.
At SCDC, several DECA members made it to the finals and four qualified for internationals. Lily Gittoes and Skyler Campbell both qualified along with Selena Sun, a co-president, and Albert Li, a junior.
“We did pretty well at the conference this year. We have four people who qualified to go to the international competition in Orlando, Florida this year in April,” Campbell said.
DECA competitions are all about putting the learned skills to the test.
“It’s important because it’s basically where we actually have the chance to use the skills we learn when we prepare [in competitions],” Campbell said.
The general consensus between DECA members is that competitions such as SCDC allow participants to learn real, applicable skills through the experience at conferences.
“I learned so much at the conference that I would not have been able to learn in a regular classroom setting,” Gittoes said.
For many, competitions are a nice way to see hard work pay off.
“It’s really exciting to see your hard work pay off after the months spent preparing. It shows how far you’ve come since the beginning of the year,” Zhou said.