DECA District Recap

DECA beats last year’s record with 80 state qualifiers
Officer Duggirala and her team standing after qualifying for State.
Officer Duggirala and her team standing after qualifying for State.
Bhavyashree Duggirala

On Tuesday, Jan. 9, DECA opened their season at Kalahari Resort with the Districts competition. Members gathered to compete in written and roleplay events against more than 27 counties in Central Texas. This year, 80 competitors qualified to compete in the State competition from Feb. 15-17, beating last year’s record.

“I’m really proud of the people who qualified,” VP of Marketing junior Bhavyashree Duggirala said. “I saw how [they] improved throughout. In the very beginning, they were clueless about what they were doing, and then by the end, it seemed like they really knew what they were doing.”

DECA has multiple types of prepared events for members to compete in. The roleplay event involves a multiple-choice career cluster exam and a roleplay given on-site with a judge. VP of Relations junior Hansi Kallem competed in an individual series roleplay event where she was given 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to perform.

“Deca is all about effort,” Kallem said. “As long as you’re putting in effort into the club and not just coasting you can advance and do really well.”

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The written event consists of creating a business plan and making a prepared presentation to be shown in front of a judge. Duggirala competed in the innovation plan where her team wrote a written proposal to introduce a new product. In contrast to roleplay events, written events provide competitors with additional time to research the context of the issue they aim to address. 

State qualifiers stand together after making Rouse history. (Bhavyashree Duggirala)

“Written events teach you about preparation, research, and the importance of spending time on something to make it better quality,” Kallem said. “Roleplay events teach you so much about speaking and doing things on the spot and having confidence in yourself and your ideas. If you put in a lot of effort and you really try your best, you [will] gain a lot of skills for your regular life.”

This year, multiple qualifiers credit their success to the mock run-throughs that the officers conducted. 

“There were like three or four [mock competitions’] and they were very helpful because they set up the same environment that competitions would have,” State Qualifier sophomore Manasi Borude said. “It definitely helped us practice for roleplay, and also get very good feedback to better improve our presentation.”

In the future, the club plans to expand membership relations with other chapters throughout the state by promoting more engagement in club activities.

“Even if [someone] didn’t qualify, there’s so much that this club gives,” Kallem said. “Being a member of DECA and using this club to not only take trips and have fun but to also learn more about yourself and business and entrepreneurship is valuable. We see the time [club members] are putting in and we are so glad [they’re] as invested in it as we are.”

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