by CASEY BENZI Staff Writer
Members from Monroe Township High School’s DECA club are advancing to the state competition February 24-26 in Cherry Hill, NJ.
The States competition will take place at either the Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn in Cherry Hill.
Sophomore Jenna Parisen won fourth place in the Marketing Communications team event.
“States is the second chance where you can improve upon what you feel you did wrong at regionals. My teammate Cori and I have been focusing on what we did wrong in our role-play so we can hopefully place higher in states because the top three teams go to Anaheim California!” said Parisen.
DECA itself is an international organization of marketing management, entrepreneurship, and finance students. Seven different countries participate in this organization, including the United States and Canada. There are about 195,000 students worldwide that now compete in DECA events.
There are 192 members of the DECA organization in MTHS. About 122 students competed at Regionals, but only 76 are moving on to states. These 76 students had to place in the top six groups of their category at Regionals.
Students get to choose a certain category they enjoy and may have an interest in as a career, such as Travel and Tourism Marketing, Public Relations, or Fashion Merchandising Promotion.
At competitions, all members must take a 100 question test that counts as one-third of their score. Next, the competitors must perform a live-action roleplay of a real-life situation that focuses on their specific field of interest, counting as two-thirds of their score.
For example, if the category was Marketing Communications, a student’s roleplay may be public relations for a new family, demonstrating how he or she would promote it.
Competitors’ performance, test scores, attire, attitude, confidence, and personal presentation are all scored by judges that determine whether or not they will move on to the next conference.
“DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe,” says the official DECA website.
Regionals took place on January 8 at Middlesex Community College. At the Regional competition, only schools from Central New Jersey compete against one another while at States, schools from all over New Jersey compete.
Members can compete as a group or individually. Around 80 percent of students at MTHS participate at conferences with a partner rather than by themselves.
The top winners of each category will advance to the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Anaheim, California. Students participating in this event will stay in California from April 23-28.
DECA is separated into two divisions, known as the High School Division and the Collegiate Division. The HS Division includes 185,000 members from 5,000 schools. The Collegiate Division includes more than 15,000 members from about 200 universities.
“DECA is a great club that teaches us a lot about business and how to run a company, it allows you to meet many new people and is a wonderful experience,” said freshman Ava Prohaska.