They Mean Business!

It is about time that we shine a light on our DECA team as they are advancing to internationals!

The whole DECA team at state.

By Gabriella Champion, Staff Photographer

After making it through two rounds of competition, each one more competitive than the next, our team has finally qualified. From districts, to states, and now internationals, in just two short weeks, George Ranch’s very own DECA Team will be traveling to the International Career Development Conference, ICDC, in Atlanta, Georgia!

DECA, or Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing high school and college students to be leaders in today’s competitive business world, and it equips them with the skills and connections they need for success. There are 175,000 members in DECA and 3,200 high school chapters around the world. ICDC is the International level of the DECA competition in which students may compete in the finance, marketing, management, or hospitality sector of a variety of business fields.   

“There is a huge number of events ranging from Food Marketing, Apparel and Accessories, Marketing, to even Sports and Entertainment Marketing! Everyone can find an event they like,” says President Sofia Frey. 

This year, George Ranch has students competing in three sections: Business Services Marketing Role Play Series Event, Financial Services Team Decision Making Role Play Event, and Independent Business Plan. President Frey, along with many DECA team pairs, such as Anik Maknojia and Rivaaj Monsia and trio Daniel Arackal, Dhruv Datta, and Isaac Lansky, will be competing in these events respectively. For the Role Play events, competitors get an accumulative score consisting of a test score and a presentation score. They will first take a business test, at the time of their event, they will be given a business scenario in which they must prepare a plan in 10 minutes. 

I am super excited for internationals! After four years of hard work, I have finally made it to ICDC for the first time. I have been practicing sample role plays as well as studying the Performance Indicators for my event. This year has been great since we are back to in-person events. Last year, competition was online, so going in person to all the conferences and competition has been so much fun,” Frey said. 

For Business Plan events, competitors prepare a 30-page plan prior to the competition and give a presentation of their plan which will ultimately determine their scores.

“We are extremely excited to be competing at the ICDC especially because this is all of our first years in DECA. We have been working really hard on our document and presentation to make sure we display the best work we have,” Arackal, Datta, and Lansky said.

In addition to these DECA competitors, officer Mila McClain will be attending the ICDC Academy and officers Alexis Watts, Shelby Williams, and student Sehr Khan will be attending the School Based Enterprise Academy. These academies are not as competitive as the Role Play and Business Plan events are. Rather, they provide students with classes, experiences, and skills for preparation in the business world. ICDC Academy teaches students more about industries by hearing advice from current business leaders. The School Based Enterprise Academy specifically focuses on Entrepreneurial endeavors, hence how GR was given the opportunity to go to this academy; the Longhorn Depot is a Gold Re-certified School Based Enterprise which means it effectively and successfully met the needs of the market, the school, and integrated National Curriculum Standards; essentially, the DECA team was able to create a functioning business that meets real business world standards right in the walls of our school! 

Despite common consensus, DECA is not an organization limited to only people who are interested in making business their future. DECA provides many helpful skills and experiences applicable to all sorts of jobs and is open to anyone who wants to better their skills as a leader. 

“Even though DECA relates to business, DECA has helped me grow in many other ways as well- public speaking, quick thinking, confidence, and leadership as an officer. These are all important for students pursuing any career path. It is amazing preparation for college,” Frey said.

In addition, DECA does more than compete in business competitions; socials and volunteer efforts for DECA members are also held through the organization. For example, GR’s DECA team went to Leadership Day at the Toyota Center where they learned about the Houston Rocket’s marketing and advertising, and then they got to stay for the game. In addition, the DECA team held Caroline’s Christmas Book Drive and earned a Community Service campaign. DECA also allows members to develop new friendships and connections while at conferences and competitions. 

“I joined DECA freshman year, and it has truly been one of the best decisions I ever made. The combination of competitions, leadership events, community service, and fun socials makes it so fun. At competitions, especially state, it is so fun to network with members from other chapters. At state this year I met some other inspiring DECA members who I’ve connected with on social media. I am excited to make lots of connections at ICDC this year!” Frey said.

DECA is a great place to start gaining experience and skills for the future. It allows a student to reach their full potential by providing them with fun and educational experiences, and it teaches students useful skills that prepare them for future endeavors in all areas, not only business.  

Longhorn Depot is not only a great place to buy your favorite snacks, but it also supports the DECA team by providing them with additional funding for their events and even reduces certain fees for the members. Be sure to go and support our Longhorns at the Depot! 

— Gabriella Champion

“I’ve learned more from being in DECA this one year than I have in all of the business classes I have taken. It’s very insightful. Anyone who wants to learn about business should join,” Lansky said. 

It is now we would like to send our Internationals-bound Longhorns with the best of wishes before their big competition. Good luck Longhorns!