DECA makes international competition

Zachary Bahar, Executive Editors

ETHS DECA has had a long history of successful seasons, a history that was continued in this strangest of years.

“All of our club meetings have been online; usually, we perform in front of a judge when we compete; this year, we pre-recorded everything over Zoom with our presentation, and then we had to upload it to YouTube and then upload it for the competition, so it was all virtual,” senior Zoe Cvetas said.

Despite this remote setup, out of DECA’s 32 members, 23 earned Top-10 medals, 17 placed in the top three for their event and 10 placed first. Two students, Makenna Hirsch-Arnett and Tamara Guy, also earned Illinois Foundation for Marketing Education Scholarships; Guy was also named a State Vice President of Philanthropy. Those who placed in the event advance to the International competition which begins on April 12 and ends on May 6.

“[Advancing to internationals] was definitely a highlight, even though it was online and I was just looking at my computer and heard my name; it was still a really special moment,” senior Mika Parisien said.

While competitions and practices have been different this year, Cvetas is glad to have been able to compete, especially given the fact that last year’s state competition was canceled.

“I was so glad that we actually got to compete because last year we didn’t even get to compete at state; we put in all that hard work, and we couldn’t do it. So, I was glad we got to compete, and I was glad to place as well so that we can advance to the next level,” Cvetas said.

The two major types of DECA events are roleplay and written; roleplay events consist of a prompt, and contestants are given 15 minutes to create a solution, while written events take months of work beforehand, with contestants developing a business plan and presenting it to a panel of judges.

“You really just start with nothing, and then it becomes this whole thing. Whether you work with a partner or not, you just start with a couple of ideas from your mind and let that creativity take you to your competition… It’s an opportunity to be super creative, to do something you know you’re passionate about,” Parisien said.

Beyond an opportunity to create, DECA has the potential to help students find interests and passions that extend far beyond the walls of ETHS.

“I went to high school honestly not really knowing what I wanted to do… [DECA] showed me that I really am interested in business,” Cvetas said. “Next year, I’m planning on doing entrepreneurship and business in college. [DECA] really showed me what I want to do with my life, which is really cool, because I had no idea, and I found a passion I really enjoy.”