DECA officers share perspectives

Emily Otten and Harshman Sihra

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Because DECA state is right around the corner in early March, we asked three DECA officers and 2019 DECA state attendees about their experiences in DECA.

Describe DECA in five words.

“Preparing emerging leaders for the future.” Sami Krutz (‘20)

“Opportunity to expand one’s horizons.” Rawan Hamadeh (‘20)

“An invaluable business learning experience.” Pranay Reddy (‘19)

“Let’s get down to business” Maya Benhamo (‘19)

How had DECA changed for you from your freshman year to now?

“DECA has changed for me drastically from freshman year to now. When I was a freshman, it was just another club to join to try and be more involved in extracurricular activities. My friend Mikayla and I thought it seemed interesting but we weren’t quite sure what it was. We competed that year and really liked the experience, yet we were still pretty intimidated by other competitors as we weren’t very confident in ourselves. Now, I can say without a doubt that joining was one of the best decisions I’ve made in high school. It’s a way for me to do something I enjoy in a competitive environment.” Rawan Hamadeh (‘20)

“In my freshman year, I joined a lot of clubs to see what I liked. Over high school, DECA has solidified itself as one of my favorite extracurriculars and has influenced my college plan.” Pranay Reddy (‘19)

“Being involved in DECA has helped me develop my speaking skills, especially in a professional setting. Overall, I’ve become more confident presenting ideas, brainstorming, and pitching creative ideas.” Maya Benhamo (‘19)

How do you feel DECA has helped you, academically or otherwise?

“DECA has improved my public speaking skills by being able to communicate an idea I have to someone else in a restricted time frame. It has help me to develop thoughts and to get organized in a short time frame. DECA has also helped me with my research and writing skills through the state projects I have done for the past 2 years.” Sami Krutz (‘20)

“DECA has helped me in countless ways, one being the ability to be confident in myself and my ideas. When presenting to judges, being confident in what you are presenting/saying is key in doing well, so I can’t second guess myself. I’ve also become friends with people I otherwise would never have talked to.” Rawan Hamadah (‘20)

“DECA has improved my communication skills and has prepared me for a future career in business.” Pranay Reddy (‘19)

“DECA can help anyone, even if you’re not interested in pursuing business as a career. Many of my fellow members and I have varied interests in healthcare and engineering, but we all recognize the opportunities provided by DECA to help us become professional future leaders” Maya Benhamo (‘19)

What is one category or cluster that you would find interesting to compete in, other than your current category?

“I think it would be interesting to compete in one of the Financial Clusters. I think this because most role plays require you to be creative, but the finance category would involve more calculations and evaluating the financial health of a business. I have never had to deal with these kinds of topics based on my category, but I think it would be interesting to compete in an event where the solution is objective instead of subjective.” Sami Krutz (‘20)

“Probably Marketing Management.” Rawan Hamadeh (‘20)

“I would compete in finance because I like working with numbers and have always found finance interesting.” Pranay Reddy (‘19)

Throughout my four years I have always competed in Marketing because I love the creativity and strategy that goes into solving any problem. If I were to compete in another category, it would most likely be in the hospitality cluster because problems in customer service and human resources are varied and i’d love to explore the unique approaches used to solve them. Maya Benhamo (‘19)

What advice would you give to prospective DECA members or freshmen about competing in DECA for the first time?

“My advice would be to be confident because the more it seems like you know about something the more the judge will believe it. In addition, performance indicators are the most important, know anything and everything about them and show the judge you are an expert in all of them. This is essential because it is how you are scored.” Sami Krutz (‘20)

“If you are on the fence about joining DECA/competing, just go for it. You have nothing to lose, and might find that you really like competing/the club in general. Also, you don’t have to be interested in going into a business-related career to join/compete!” Rawan Hamadeh (‘20)

“Know your performance indicators and relax. Confidence is key.” Pranay Reddy (‘19)

“As a first time competitor, just remember that all the new competitors are feeling the same emotions as you! Even the judges are nervous because they’re not sure what to expect! Be creative and act confident!” Maya Benhamo (‘19)