8 DECA students aim for internationals


Chris Ham

(front row left to right) sophomore Geethika Bonthala, junior Grishma Geedipally, senior Ria Bajaj, senior Shree Balaji, junior Caroline Overall, sophomore Kate Liang. (back row left to right) senior Siddhi Patadia, junior Saahithi Joopelli, junior Dea Divi, senior Sonika Rao, junior Andy Liu, junior Aten Kumar, junior Maanas Dogga, senior Varun Manjunath.

Brooke Colombo, Editor-in-chief

After competing in the State Career Development Convention in Dallas for three days, eight DECA students will advance to the international level, with two students as alternate finalists.

While less students competed due to a change in this year’s rules, a larger percentage of those students are advancing in comparison to last year.

“It was really good because eight of them out of the 14 we took made it to internationals, and two of them are finalists, or alternates, that could possibly go, so 10 out of the 14 received some sort of recognition,” DECA coach Chris Ham said. “It’s a win-win, because I know my team is gonna do great, every single one of them put a lot of work in, and I get to know them better because I have less students.”

The first day of the competition included an opening ceremony. The second was competition day, where students were required to participate in a roleplay event where they explained relevant business concepts.

“I’m really proud of all the competitors for working hard and being successful,” senior Siddhi Patadia said. “For me personally, advancing is a big deal since it’s my last year. We have eight competitors advancing to internationals, and they are all really strong contenders.”

Those who are advancing will compete among students on a international level, increasing the level of competition.

“It’s almost like state, since there’s just one more thing they have to do, but in terms of the things they’re doing, it’s pretty much the same, except they’re competing against the entire world,” Ham said. “We have more quality students who are hopefully more prepared, so I’m more optimistic than I was last year. “

The International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia will occur from April 21 to 24, and senior Sonika Rao is hoping to further her success there. I’m really nervous about ICDC to be honest, but I hope to place or hope that one of the eight of us is going to place,” Rao said. “I’m going to study a lot for the test though, and do what I can on my part to make sure I stand out in my roleplay at ICDC.”