DECA Takes on SCDC

DVC’s DECA’s chapter preparing in class. (credit: Jazmin Jacamo)

Da Vinci Communications offers plenty of real world application experiences through its pathways. This is especially prevalent through a program featured within the marketing pathway, the Distributive Education Clubs of America, better known as DECA.

The DECA program revolves around a curriculum that helps prepare students to become leaders in different professional categories, including  marketing, business, finance management and hospitality. Additionally, it provides students real world experiences, especially with preparing and presenting project work. 12th grade marketing teacher, Deepti Reim,  explained the benefits that students can receive by joining DECA.

“You’re able to take [your work] outside the class and actually compete against other students around the world. It allows [students] to actually present to an industry judge,” Reim expressed. “They’re competing against other students who have been doing the same kinds of preparation and projects. It gets that to that competitive side of students that helps them bring out the best they can offer.”

In addition to allowing students to prosper outside of the traditional classroom environment, DECA also teaches students valuable lessons in soft skills, such as leadership and collaboration. Daniela Torres, a 12th grade chapter leader, provided her testimony.

“DECA has helped me tremendously. It actually helped me in my Posse interview,” Torres revealed. “So we do these things called role plays. We are given a  scenario and they  give you 10 minutes to prepare, prepare, and you have 10 minutes to present. That really helped me in the interview because it was a similar activity and just like it helped me think fast on my feet.”

12th grade chapter leader, Alvin Liu, described the valuable lessons he has learned through his time in his DECA chapter.

“I would say I gain the most amount [of leadership experience] from actually managing collaboration skills and  making sure everyone on your team is included. You want to make sure everyone’s on the same page before you move forward. I think that’s one of the biggest elements before you do anything,” he said. 

The amazing opportunity to gain more real world experience first came into the picture in 2019, when Reim started DVC’s DECA chapter, starting off with a total of 10 people. Currently, the program has grown to hold almost 30 students. 

“It was really tiny and we were learning a lot as we went. I remember our first competition was in Santa Clara, California…So we took a bus up there and we were the tiniest chapter. We got some preliminary awards, but we didn’t place in the general competition and we didn’t advance any students to international competition. I think it was a good moment for the students because they’re like, ‘Oh, we’re some of the best competitors at our school but when you put us up against thousands of the best from all other schools,’ it helps us see what we need to do to be more successful,” Reim recalled.

DVC DECA’s rookie chapter year also inspired the following class generations to continue improving and working their hardest in order to compete. Reim commented on the evolution she has seen over the past few years.

“We start preparing for competition in the fall when we start seminars together…we study how to do the role plays really early on…We’ve also done a lot more committee campaign work and fun things just to get more exposure to what DECA is and I thought it was really fun because it helps put more students in the spotlight,” said Reim.

DVC’s DECA chapter at SCDC. (credit: Jazmin Jacamo)

Compared to the past years, preparation time for competitions has increased, with the addition of spreading awareness of DECA throughout DVC. This eventually came to fruition during the annual DECA State Career Development Conference, also known as SCDC. Reim described the great success of this year’s SCDC.

“The fact that we were able to be successful at this conference–we had eight students on stage and three students placed to go to the international competition–that just shows that we are moving in the right direction and that students are learning the tools that they need and the skills and strategies that they need to be successful in this competition. It will enable them to be more successful in life no matter what they choose to do,” she expressed.

Apart from awards, students gain valuable new experiences and insights through SCDC. Liu described his participation in this year’s SCDC.

DVC’s DECA chapter in the lobby. (credit: Jazmin Jacamo)

“…it’s an amazing experience where about a couple thousand individuals participate and compete in,” he said. “It’s amazing to finally see our chapter members compete and put all those skills and time they’ve invested, whether that be with written cluster exams, roleplays, which are basically one on one business situations that may happen, or presenting.”

However, not only is SCDC an extremely competitive event, but it is incredibly fun as well, providing a positive experience for student participants.

“If kids don’t like DECA all year long, they are thankful that they stayed in it because SCDC is just a really fun and captivating experience and you get to compete. You get to see  different things that are in the world rather than just being in the classroom… Also, hanging out with each other and seeing other people from other chapters, seeing them hang around and getting to talk to them and hear their experience,” Torres stated, commenting on the perks of attending SCDC.

Overall, DECA is an incredibly challenging, yet rewarding opportunity that allows students to prosper in environments that they would not have had the chance to otherwise. While equipping participants with the skills necessary to compete, it prepares students for the future ahead of them. 

As Liu stated, “Join DVC DECA.”