DECA Performs Well at State Competition

DECA Performs Well at State Competition

Over this past weekend, ACP’s DECA participated in the Arizona State Career and Development Conference. ACP was well represented at this conference. Senior Jordan Diaz took 1st place in the Quick Service Restaurant Management competition, while sophomore Saar Zutshi took 2nd place in the Sports and Entertainment Promotion Plan competition, and junior Mackenzie Hanson ran for the state officer team and won. I was able to catch up with all three of them and get their thoughts on their accomplishments.

Jordan Diaz- Quick Service Restaurant Management

Q: Could you briefly explain what took place with DECA this past weekend?

A: On Saturday morning, we went to the Arizona Grand Resort where there were 2,000 DECA members from around the state. For me personally, I did two roleplays that day at 11:15 and 3:15. For my business scenario, I had to do an interview with my “Vice President.” I had to give him solutions to certain problems and make recommendations for marketing products. There was an awards ceremony on Saturday night, and I ended up getting in the 10% on my cluster exam, which factors into scoring for final seedings. I ended up finalizing the next morning, and then I went back to do another roleplay and hung out until the afternoon around 4 PM where they announced I had won first place in my category.

Q: What did participating in this event mean to you?

A: Since this is my last year here, I wanted to make Nationals if I could because this is my only chance to do so. It was also good business experience because you’re put into business scenarios, and it is similar to going in and talking to my boss about a certain issue or talking to a potential client, depending on which scenario you get. I was excited to put myself into a situation that I could be in later on in life since I’m planning to go into business in college.

Q: Were there any other valuable experiences or ways this could help you in the future?

A: There was plenty of networking. Everyone was there to meet other people and make business connections. Everyone was getting other people’s phone numbers, snapchats, and keeping in touch by talking to all these like-minded people so that in the future, we have many connections and different people for different situations.

Q: What’s next for you and the rest of the club?

A: Immediately, we’re going to Nationals in April in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ll be going to college after that, but I think the club is going to get a lot bigger next year because a lot more people are going to join and will be doing these events. I know from what we did at state and district competitions, they’re going to be really good. We’re so good at thinking quickly and improvising at ACP and they have good problem-solving skills, so they should do really well, especially in the role plays and things like that.

Saar Zutshi- Sports and Entertainment Promotion Plan

Q: Could you explain what took place with DECA this past weekend?

A: Eight students from our marketing class went to the state competition where we each got to choose our events and competed. Some of us did roleplays where you’re given a situation or business scenario, and you have 10 minutes to prepare what you’re going to say, and then 10 minutes to present your idea. Some of us did a written paper where you have as much time as you need. You can either do a 5-page, 11-page, or a 30-page paper which you submit and then give a presentation on it.

Q: Could you describe your experience at this competition?

A: I did an 11-page paper. My topic was to create a promotion plan for a sports or entertainment company. I wrote my paper and then the judges already have it with them when you go in to present. I had a powerpoint prepared, and I talked about my ideas and all the promotions I was going to go through within a company. This is all hypothetical, so I didn’t actually have to do anything with the company. The judges seemed to like it.

Q: How do you feel you did?

A: Coming out of the presentation room, I thought one of the judges didn’t seem as happy about it as the others, so I thought I did okay, but I did run overtime, which I thought would hurt my score. I wasn’t that confident about it when I came out of the presentation room. I wasn’t sure if I was going to win or not.

Q: What did participating in this event mean to you?

A: It was a good experience. I want to go into the business field in college and a career, so I felt it was definitely useful and something I could see myself doing. It was fun as well; we all had a great time.

Q: Were there any valuable experiences or anything you can take with you into future endeavors?

A: Just from being there, you learn about networking, which is a big part of being in DECA. You talk to so many people and make connections. Networking is a good skill to have in the business field, which is something good I learned from being there.

Q: What’s next for you and the rest of the club?

A: We’ll be going to Atlanta in April for the international competition. For me, I’ll give the exact same presentation there and see how it goes.

Mackenzie Hanson- State Officer

Q: Could you explain what took place this past weekend?

A: It was a really long, weekend. We went to the Arizona Grand for our state competition, and while we were there, the rest of my chapter competed on Saturday, and I went in and had to campaign all day. I had a table and had to hand out flyers and business cards and tell everybody my goals and objectives that would come from me becoming a state officer and representing Arizona DECA. That night after I competed, I had to give a speech and I gave that to a group of about 100 or so voting delegates. They ended up voting on who out of the 16 candidates they wanted to be in office.

Q: How did that go for you?

A: The competition was a different part of it, but as for the campaigning, we weren’t able to find out how we did. I never found out what place I was in because they’re not electing Presidents yet. They do that further on. Obviously, it went ok because I was elected for District 5. Because I was running unopposed in District 5, meaning no other schools had a representative come in, I had to beat out the popular vote in different districts, which means I did well with that.

Q: What did participating in this competition mean to you?

A: Because I’ve been in DECA since I was a freshman, it meant a lot to me because I’ve always been looking up to these people. I’ve always seen them do well with everything that they do, obviously the state officers from previous years. Finally being able to achieve that and hit my goals, it was really fun and exciting. I was very happy with it and am excited for next year.

Q: Were there any valuable experiences or anything you can take with you into the future?

A: There was a lot of public speaking and a lot of communication and networking I had to do. This was a growing experience through the entire process. Anything I do in the future, I will be able to take these instances with me because of all the different people I had to meet and the way I had to change in order to talk to these different people and to impress these delegates.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: This next year, I will be in the state officer team, which is a group of 10 people, and in a few months we’ll have different leadership opportunities where we’ll decide who’s the new President and Vice President. Throughout the year, I’ll host all of the DECA events, and I go to each chapter and try to increase membership and implement my goals. I have different leadership summits, I’ll go to Chicago and Anaheim and I’ll be going to Orlando, and obviously Georgia next month. After that, there are different options for people who are involved in DECA in the future with different internship opportunities for different ladders and maybe after senior year, I can look into executive stuff.

ACP’s DECA club did an outstanding job at their state competition. For a first-year program, to have three participants go to the national DECA competition is unheard of. Good luck to Jordan, Saar, and Mackenzie next month in Atlanta.