DECA is going to State

Members share their excitement for the 2023 State Career Development Conference


Mary Jereczek

DECA members hold up their club symbol, the DECA diamond.

Jill Sousley, Staff Reporter

DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America, and it is an association of marketing students that promotes the benefits of business and leadership skills through academic conventions and competitions. Ballard High School has our very own DECA program, and we have many talented members.

Junior Lola Halverson speaks on her experience, saying that she is excited and hopeful that she and her partner, junior Madison Eseman, will make it to nationals this year. The state competition for DECA will be held in Bellevue from March 2-4, and nationals will be held in Orlando, FL from April 21-26.

Halverson joined DECA her freshman year through a marketing class she was taking. 

“A lot of my family works in business … and that’s always interested me, so I just decided to join and I’ve really enjoyed it so far,” Halverson said. 

Eseman joined DECA her sophomore year. 

“It’s good for college applications and then I was in marketing class so it’s easy to go into,” Eseman said.

DECA can be a stressful experience, the way these conferences are set up. Eseman said that since her sophomore year, she’s adjusted to the pressure. 

“It’s a lot less nerve wracking. I was like hey, it goes how it goes, but now I’m excited to [go to] SCDC and ICDC,” Eseman said.

SCDC stands for State Career Development Conference, and ICDC stands for International Career Development Conference.

Since her freshman year, Halverson says the program and experience has changed quite a bit. 

“Obviously there’s the aspect of … doing competition in the real world [this year] and not just online,” Halverson said.

Due to COVID-19, DECA conferences in 2022 were canceled, and later rescheduled with strict health guidelines.

There are many required assignments and tasks students must complete in order to participate in DECA competitions, and it is vital to do well on these to make it to state and nationals. 

“Depending on what event you do, you can choose to do a 10 page paper, or a 20 page paper, or you can do role play with a test on top of that, but it’s honestly how much work you want to put into it,” Halverson says. 

Eseman mentioned a virtual business simulation that she does online in addition to all of the required DECA work. Eseman and Halverson chose to do Sports Entertainment Marketing and did role play and a test.

Though members enjoy participating in DECA, the competitions can be difficult. Halverson didn’t have anything negative to say about the program, but explained her personal views. 

“Personally, I get really anxious,” she said. “Presenting stuff in front of a judge who’s actively judging you can be stressful but I think it’s a good experience to have.”

For Eseman and Halverson, DECA has felt like a great community of young minds encouraging and pushing each other towards success. 

“I feel like everyone’s kind of rooting for each other and … not only do you want to do well, but you want your school to do well,” Eseman said. 

DECA is a unique experience and opportunity for those who are looking into business in college, looking to spruce up their college applications, or just to meet people and make friends.