Going into the Business World? Then DECA is Right for You!

By Tim Murphy.

If you’re interested in a career in the business world, the biggest asset for your success is DECA. DECA, the Distributive Education Club of America, is a school-based club that focuses on teaching students important skills and strategies to better prepare themselves for the business world in different fields, like financing, marketing, management, and entrepreneurship.

It may be surprising, but DECA has over 185,000 active members in the US and around the world, including countries like Canada, Germany, Puerto Rico, Korea, and many others. In the US, there are over 5,000 high school chapters, including one here at Woodgrove. Virginia is the most active participant of DECA in the US, recruiting over 15,000 members, more than any other state.

By joining DECA, you’ll be able to converse with other members about fundraisers, school store inventory, and DECA-sponsored events. One of the fundraisers DECA supports is the Western Loudoun Food Pantry, which deals with raising money and donating food to families in need around Loudoun County. This is all organized by the members of DECA. DECA members can also work shifts in the school store and learn how to run a successful business by being instructed in financial management, stocking and inventory, and other skills.

Besides learning about business occupations and leadership skills, DECA is also a competitve club. There are annual DECA competitions reaching from the district level all the way to internationals. The beginning competitions are held at Potomac Falls for the district tournament. From there are the state and national tournaments. This year’s national’s is being held in Atlanta, Georgia. These competitions are designed to practice and enhance business-like skills.  The competition events include mock job interviews, advertising campaigns, role plays, and many more. If you win an event, you advance to the next stage of competition and are put in the running for DECA scholarships. These scholarships are sponsored by some big-name corporations, like Safeway, Finish Line, and Otis Spunkmeyer. This scholarship program holds over $250,000 in scholarships, which are given away to many exemplary students who demonstrate magnificent business skills.

DECA students also have a lot of fun, too! Every year DECA members take a trip to the Verizon Center to see a Capitals’ game. There, members have a meet-and-greet with CEOs of the team and later stay to watch the game. Also, during competition days, the DECA team visits the sites of the cities they go to compete. Last year, DECA went to Los Angeles for the National DECA Competition, and took a day-long trip to Disney Land.

Want to join? Here’s how! First of all, members of DECA must be enrolled in a full-year marketing course or personal finance course, many of which are taught by business teacher and DECA coordinator, Mrs. Stacey Hobbs. Also, you will need to sign a form recognizing your membership and you need to pay a DECA due of $30 to help pay for trips, fundraisers, and transportation. Joining DECA is a great way to prepare for future careers in the business world, get together with friends, and have fun while supporting the community. So join today, and make it count!