Marketing in the Real World

DECA competes in Atlanta with teams from around the world


Katie Willard, Features Editor

Business is the foundation of many aspects of the world outside of secondary schooling and is a common major for many young adults. College and high school students in DECA, Distributive Education Clubs of America, receive the opportunity to get a head start in commerce, marketing and a possible major.

Over the week of April 22, the DECA team traveled down to Atlanta, Georgia, to compete at the International competition. This is composed of students from all around the world making this a very prestigious event.

DECA business teacher Lori Scolaro said for this competition, the students had to place in the top three at the state level in order to progress to Internationals.

The seven students who competed at this year’s Internationals finished in the top 20% internationally and junior Meghan Schutte was among the Top 10 in the comprehensive exam. As long as the area of competition is marketing related, the students chose what they would compete in. Restaurant and food management, hospitality and public relations were some of the few options available.

Placing second at State, senior Lauren Baker was given another go at Internationals. This was not only her second consecutive year competing at an international level, but her second year placing in the top 20% at this competition with a public relations project.

“We made a campaign that was to stop domestic abuse and then we made a project about it,” Baker said. “It’s just about something that plagues the community and then you have to have a project that stops it or raises awareness for it.”

From studying tests to practicing role plays, DECA members spend their time preparing for their specific events. Repetition is key when it comes to competitions.

“We practice presentations from January until they go for their paper presentations and we do that by practicing it over and over again so they aren’t fearful when they present,” DECA business teacher Janet Butler said. “It’s just like second nature, it’s just easy for them.”

Not all students who attended Internationals took part in the competition aspect of it. Two state officers, along with two students, who went to the leadership academy joined the DECA team in their trip.

Junior Ashton Johnson, who was recently elected as a state officer, helped run the show in Atlanta. By encouraging others and helping with directing people to their seats, Johnson made a mark in her new position.

“It’s really cool to be the face of Nebraska DECA and just help people,” Johnson said. “People see us as always there to help and my team really wants to work to strengthen Nebraska DECA.”

Along with the state officers were the two students who traveled to Atlanta for the Leadership Academy.

Co-president senior Morgan Trotter and senior Madison Veller were apart of the Leadership Academy. There, they had the opportunity to meet CEOs of well known companies and do different types of networking. This would help prepare them for college and a possible career.

Trotter knew what she had planned to go into after high school. DECA was a way to get a headstart on her future and the Leadership Academy at Internationals allowed for more of an insight into the world of business.

“I’ve always wanted to join DECA ever since I first heard about it because I knew I wanted to go into marketing and it prepares me so much so I knew that it would be a good fit for my future career,” Trotter said. “It’s nice to be able to practice what I want to go into and organize it.”

DECA gives students experience. Whether that be meeting successful people in the business world, taking an lengthy test or thinking about a scenario. The students put in the work and it payed off during the tournament season.

“Usually, we don’t have everyone finish that high but all of them finished in that top 20% so that was amazing,” Butler said.

Millard West DECA has taken a trip to Internationals since the beginning of the club and never fail to live up to the expectations of the year prior.