DECA prepares for upcoming State Conference

Grace Whitaker '22, Web editor

DECA, a longstanding tradition at South, has found a way to continue competing despite all of the curve balls this year has thrown at them. According to DECA staff advisor, Erin Moretz, the students made the shift to online meetings just before the district conference.

“It was certainly a last minute change but it all worked out and I think it was still rewarding for the kids even if they were at home for (the conference),” Moretz said.

At a typical conference, students must take a multiple choice test and then roleplay a business scenario with a deca official. DECA president, Brandon Wortman ‘21, said students can decide which career cluster they would like to compete in, either marketing, business management and administration, hospitality and tourism or finance.

“Students get to choose which area they want to compete in so they would spend time during meetings taking sample tests to prepare for the conferences,” Wortman said.

According to DECA member Hayden Barry ‘21, typically the upcoming State conference is held downtown in Cobo hall which the club usually stays in a hotel to compete at. However, due to covid, this year’s competition will be totally online to ensure safety.

“I’m disappointed that (the conference) is not in person because it’s always a lot of fun to travel with everyone and stay downtown, but I’m still feeling good and excited to show what I can do,” Barry said.

With states coming up students continue to work hard in preparation for the conference. According to Wortman, this year 27 students qualified to go to this year’s State Career Development Conference.

“Everyone has been working really hard to get ready for the conference, even though we are online the students seem to still be enjoying the experience and excited for the conference,” Moretz said.

The DECA organization is working to make the states conference as engaging as possible. Wortman said they are trying to include the same opportunities for students as when the conference is in person.

“They’re going to try to do some sort of online networking, have a keynote speaker and an online awards ceremony, but the core competition aspect will still be there,” wortman said.

After the state conference the club is planning on attending a virtual international conference. Scheduled for April 19-23 the international conference will be a five day conference that students who do well at states and qualify for the international conference can compete in.

“The international conference is a much bigger conference because that’s the whole country, and Canada. Any qualifiers that make it past the state conference will be going to the virtual international conference. Usually we have a few that qualify every year, and I expect the same this year, we’ve had a lot of good qualifiers so far,” Wortman said