Four freshmen advance to DECA Internationals


Provided by: Krish Parmar

DECA Members wait patiently to present their pitch.

Victoria Farley, Staff Writer

After a strong performance at the DECA State Competition on March 9-11 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, freshmen Eesha Gowda, Haasini Sriraman, Sandeep Sivakumar, and Krish Parmar all advanced to Internationals which will take place on April 22-25 in Orlando, Florida.

The four freshmen competed in three different events. Gowda participated in Principles of Hospitality and Tourism, Sriraman partook in Principles of Marketing, and Sivakumar and Parmar both competed in Principles of Business Management. In the competition, contestants were given two separate “roleplays”. Each roleplay was a different scenario relating to business which competitors had ten minutes to prepare for and an additional ten minutes to present. After presenting their solution or pitch, they would be judged and receive a score out of 100. There were approximately 40 contestants competing in each event, and the top six from every event would move on in the competition.

The most important value the DECA judges were looking for in students while presenting was their creativity. The four freshmans’ successful outcome was due to prioritizing their creativity and having confidence in themselves when it was time to present.

“I think creativity is a key factor in order to progress in DECA competitions,” Sriraman said. “Standing out to the judges is what your goal should be, along with accurately explaining your performance indicators.”

As freshmen, the four members joined DECA after hearing positive things about the club from other participants. They believed that they had the ability to deal with real-life problems and work to find solutions as people do in the business world.

“DECA just seemed like a good way to not only help me further explore the world of business, but also to help sharpen my overall communication and presentation skills,” Gowda said. “The club forces you to be put in a real world environment with a real-world conflict, and the critical thinking which that stressful ‘work’ environment teaches you is something that I think would benefit everyone.”

Gowda, Sriraman, Sivakumar, and Parmar’s work ethics played into their extreme success at their DECA States competition. In order to reach their goals of advancing in the competition, the freshman worked tirelessly to set themselves up for success by practicing strategies that would allow them to receive the highest score possible.

“I tried putting in effort by repeatedly going through past roleplays on the WA DECA website and practicing them with myself or someone at home, as if I were in the real competition,” Gowda said. “I also made myself very open to criticism and constructive feedback to fix even the little things that might bring me down a couple points.”

As a way to practice for their event, the freshmen ran through scenarios that would be similar to what they would be asked at the competition. The DECA members acknowledge their friends and family who supported them, acted as judges, critiqued their techniques, and gave them helpful advice throughout their studying process.

With a strong group of freshmen this year WA’s DECA program has high hopes for the future. Moving forward, these students plan on using the characteristics they have learned from their time spent in business in the real world.

“This experience has definitely made me more open to the path of business,” Gowda said. “Even if I don’t end up choosing it exactly, I definitely want some traits of the business world to be integrated into my life.”