Westwood Students Compete at DECA Districts

By Dia Jain, Horizon Assistant Editor

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  • Students Akshita Vemula ’21 and Sahaana Thangadurai ’21 wear their medals after the prize ceremony.

    Photo By Keya Sampat

  • Awards get announced at the end of the event.

    Photo By Keya Sampat

  • Students practice for their competition.

    Photo By Keya Sampat

  • DECA district officers give their introduction speech.

    Photo By Keya Sampat

  • Students Adwita Gadre ’21 and Akshata Badrayani ’21 pose with their medals outside Westwood.

    Photo By Dia Jain

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On Saturday, Jan. 19, students gathered in Bastrop to compete at the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) district competition. Students competed in the Bastrop Convention & Exhibit Center where they presented their project to a judge. Some DECA members prepared their presentation ahead of time while others had extemporaneous events.

“I wasn’t sure how I did [in my competition] because my judge didn’t make a lot of conversation back and forth but I learned to accept the outcome no matter what because it’s not always in my control,” Aarushi Machavarapu ‘19 said.

Prior to the competition day, members took a multiple choice test at Westwood. This test along with their presentation on Jan. 19 determined whether members advanced to state or not.

“I really like how [DECA] is very business oriented so you have the opportunity to get ahead in terms of business. I really want to go into a business career so it’s really great. Business also encourages you to take risks in the world and it’s very interesting,” Serena Manwani ‘22 said.

DECA not only helps students learn how to take risks, but also allows students to experience the business world. Events range from pitching  business ideas to roleplaying as a marketing manager and coming up with different strategies for a new product.

“[In DECA,] I learn how to apply my skills and work with all kinds of people. Every judge is different and every scenario has different possibilities and outcomes, which is exactly how adulthood and a career is,” Machavarapu said. “I enjoy the ability to improvise when given a scenario since it’s very real world applicable. Also, spending time with my friends at district is always fun.”

After all the students finished competing, they gathered in the auditorium to hear speeches from prospective district officers and to hear who advanced to the state competition. From Westwood, Daniel Shi ‘20 became district five’s vice president.

“When I was thinking about running, I thought about what platform I want to run on. I thought about what DECA is and what it could be. Based on that, I wanted my platform to be more about sharing the experiences,” Shi said. “I thought what was most important about DECA was increasing the accessibility and awareness.”

The day came to a close after the ceremony and Westwood DECA members headed back home, tired from their day of competing.

“I think I did okay, I probably could have done better and prepared more but I was really confident in myself and enjoyed competing,” Manwani said.

The next round of DECA competitions is state in Dallas on Feb. 21 to Feb. 23.

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