By Tara Higgins
Designed to test marketing knowledge and skills in real-life applications, the 2014 DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) Wolverine Invitational offered 40 students the opportunity to participate in a day of individual and team events at the Denver Tech Center Marriott Hotel on Oct. 24.
500 DECA members from Legend, Chaparral, Douglas County, Rock Canyon, Mountain Vista, and Arapahoe High Schools participated in this year’s invitational.
“This was the first competitive DECA event for [us] this year,” DECA adviser Mrs. Becker said.
The Wolverine Competition was modeled after DECA state competitions, according to senior Patrick Forsyth. Success in the event requires you to be able to model the professional business situations which are included in each role play.
“My favorite part was being able to compete with my friends, and getting to know the other students there,” Forsyth said.
Participants are assigned a subject, or role play, and must take the corresponding 100 question multiple-choice test. They are then given 20 minutes to prepare a plan, and 10 minutes to present before the judges.
With subjects in Principles of Marketing, Quick Serve Restaurant, Apparel and Accessories, Business Law and Ethics, and Hotel and Lodging Management, the Wolverine Competition features a variety of subjects catered to suit any participant’s strengths in marketing.
Attendees can work both individually and as a team in their subjects, as did juniors Alex Berry and Kevin Elkin, who placed second in Business Law and Ethics. They were the only team from Legend to win an award, even though it was their first time competing with no prior experience.
Despite the disadvantages of the short time allotted for planning and the time limits in presenting, being familiar with their subject and having background knowledge helped the team pull together.
Senior Will Curtin, who placed third in Hotel and Lodging, believes this year’s competition was a good start for new DECA kids.
Preparing for tests and familiarizing yourself with the different marketing subjects are both ways future DECA members can ensure they are ready for next year’s competition. “If you keep practicing and if you know what to expect it gets easier,” DECA president senior Auggie Mustillo said.
Mrs. Becker is extremely proud of all of the Wolverine participants.
“Each student represented themselves and [our school] in a poised and professional manner,” she said.
Currently, DECA students are preparing for their next competitive event. It will be the DECA District Competition and the qualifying event for State, which will be held on Nov. 17.
With so many more students becoming involved, DECA membership and participation in competitions is quickly growing.
“[DECA membership] looks good on any resume,” Forsyth said. “These are skills you’ll use for the rest of your life, whether it’s a job interview or any other professional business situation.”