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Learn Business and Leadership in DECA

Marian Castellanos, Staff Writer

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DECA is an international business organization that allows students to get involved in topics related to business such as marketing, management, entrepreneurship, finance, and hospitality. DECA introduces students to the world. It “prepares emerging leaders in these areas and allows them to experience real world situations through competition,” according to Mrs. Melleby, DECA Adviser. DECA has three levels of competition: regionals, states, and internationals.

DECA has been part of West for many years, continually preparing students for success. Mrs. Melleby has had a great impact on students and making their DECA experience memorable. Students at West must be enrolled in business class in order to be part of DECA. Members can compete in different categories such as apparel and accessories marketing, quick serve restaurant, management, sports and entertainment marketing, or hospitality and tourism. DECA members compete at the regional conference. If they qualify, they advance to compete at the state level competition. If they succeed and are placed in the top three at the state conference, they are honored to represent New Jersey and compete at the DECA International conference.

In DECA, students get to explore their interests in business while making new friends and meeting people who have similar interests. DECA provides experiences that other clubs don’t. For example, it helps students learn how to speak for an interview, how to propose a business plan to a manager, and teaches them how to prepare for jobs in a specific area of study. West DECA is not only hard work; it’s also about having fun with what you do and the people in the club you share it with. The significance of being part of DECA is that it prepares students for later in life regardless of what they want to do. It prepares students for what lies ahead. DECA is not about one person; it’s about being there for everyone’s success.

With 186 members, DECA’s environment is very friendly. DECA has a homeroom and school store that is located in the cafeteria. DECA is not only about competition. During the fall, DECA officers attend the Chapter Officer Leadership Training (COLT) during and select five DECA members to attend Chamber of Commerce luncheon in the spring. These lucky members get an opportunity to talk about DECA and network with business professionals. The DECA members get to raise money for their community service fundraising projects. At the end of the year, DECA members get together for the DECA banquet and reflect on each other’s achievements throughout the year.

To prepare for competition, students do sample role plays and practice tests to help with their confidence. They also prepare with past DECA packets that include sample tests and role plays from past years and study guides for certain events. Students get advice from past students who were in their same shoes. According to Mrs. Melleby, “we have professionals, along with former DECA alumni who currently work in the business world, come in and listen to student’s presentations and give them advice from their first-hand experience in the field.”

 

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