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DECA makes leaders in business

Celia Parsons, Editor In Chief

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Rolla Technical Institute offers many career-driven classes for high school students around Phelps County. From graphic design to woodworking, RTI has all kinds of programs for all kinds of career paths. One of the more popular programs is DECA.

“DECA is a marketing club that prepares students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management in high schools and even colleges,” Ryann Rigsby, the RTI chapter’s Vice President of Advocacy, said.

DECA is offered to all Rolla High School students. Along with the usual Marketing I and II classes, there are also more specific marketing classes like Entrepreneurship and Sports and Entertainment. Drew Blair, a junior at Rolla High and a DECA student shares why he wanted to join DECA.

“I’ve always had an interest in marketing, and have thought about majoring in it while in college,” Blair said.

Along with learning all about the marketing field, DECA members also have the opportunity to go to DECA competitions.

“At DECA competitions you go up against everyone in your district and then if you advance you go up against with all of the other people that placed at the other districts in your state. After that, if you place you compete against all of the people that make it to nationals. DECA competition is where you choose an event – either a role play or a written – and you also may have to take a test depending on what event you choose. For a role play you kind of just have to take the role of someone important and you’re given a problem in a company and it is your job to come up with a way to help the company out or make a better way for the company to operate. For a written, you can do all kinds of things from creating your own business to creating a new way for a business to advertise themselves and more. With written your write a paper, which can be anywhere from 5-30 pages and you also have to create a presentation to summarize your paper,” Rigsby said.

Along with competitions, DECA is also a really great way to get out of your comfort zone and learn some new skills.

“The majority of DECA involves preparing for competition but there are also so many opportunities to go new places and meet new friends because we are always attending conferences. We also hold a lot of fundraisers that are really fun and involved. DECA is also a great way to do hands on things and actually make a difference, unlike a usual class,” Rigsby said.

So, if you want a nontraditional, outside of a regular classroom sort of experience along with learning some new skills that could help you in all stages of life, DECA might be the place for you. Rugby and Blair, some experienced DECA members and two of Rolla High’s DECA state qualifiers, share some advice for interested students.

“I would tell any underclassmen to start getting involved early. Complete your first year, learn as much as you can from the people who have been doing things a while, and run for office. It’s such a great opportunity and can really pay off in the long run, plus it’s just so much fun,” Rigsby said.

“To be successful in DECA you’re gonna have to give 100%. It takes a lot of preparation but it all pays off in the end,” Blair said.

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DECA makes leaders in business