In their first summit of the year, Beverly Hills High’s DECA traveled to Anaheim on Jan. 8 to compete in a district competition against nearly 60 other schools from across Southern California in a myriad of competitions all pertaining to business.
During the three-day conference, over 100 students from Beverly participated in role-plays, which are a hypothetical business situation where the student is expected to come up with a solution in front of a panel of judges.
“You are basically given a sheet of paper where you are to assume the role of a job position and then while playing that person, you propose a solution to a conflict that the judge had introduced to you and your partner,” DECA outreach officer Jessica Moghadam said.
Numerous members of Beverly’s DECA team managed to place high among the ranks in Anaheim. Co-presidents Martin Schnapp and Kyle Mehrian placed first and second in marketing.
Aside from Schnapp and Mehrian, junior Catherine Lee, in her first DECA competition, placed first overall in finance, junior Lana Schwartz placed second overall in hotel management, junior Evan Nehmadi placed first overall in business management and administration, and junior Samantha Kurtz and Jake Wolken placed first overall in hospitality and team decision making.
“Knowing that my judges had confidence in my performance felt great. It also showed me how far I’ve come since I was a freshman. My professional speaking skills have truly come a long way. As a freshman, it seemed unlikely for me to win anything against my intelligent competitors,” Schwartz said.
Although not all students who attended won awards, many attendees still learned much about how business is conducted in the world.
“Not only was the experience incredibly fun and informative on the way modern businesses work, but I know the connections I made with other students will help me reach success later in my life,” junior Harrison Van Pelt said.
The trip, however, was not strictly business, in their off-hours, students participated in bonding activities to better strengthen the relationships between those in DECA.
“The bonding activities were fun because they allowed you to go out of your comfort zone and perform in front of all the DECA chapters like the talent show and fashion show. Also, mingling with other people outside of your chapter is really fun through games like freeze tag,” Moghadam said.
DECA’s next conference will be a state conference, in March, where nearly every chapter of DECA from throughout California will attend and participate in various competitions.