DECA: Strictly business

Students reflect on club after impressive state performance


Anna Shah, Olivia Sergot, and Nina Pofcher having fun at state | Bollweg

On the weekend of Feb. 24, 40 of New Trier’s DECA team members competed at the State Career Development Conference in Rosemont, IL.

Sophomore Anna Shah took first place in Apparel & Accessories. Seniors Alex Boudos  and Quinn Sheehan won first place in Sports & Entertainment Marketing. Shah, junior Beth Canel, and senior Lisa Gong won second place in Community Service Project. Junior Ethan Rosen won second place in Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan.

There are four different types of competitions at conferences: role plays, virtual games, written project, and video projects.

New Trier DECA does various activities, from hosting guest speakers to preparing for competitions and playing games. This year, club members had the opportunity to speak with the vice president of Marketing of NBC Sports.

Bob Bollweg, a faculty sponsor for DECA, commended the over one hundred student members. Specifically, the students on the leadership council set agendas for meetings and work with other members. “Our leadership council has done a really good job of welcoming students. Gabe Wineman, who is president, deserves recognition.”

Bollweg, who has sponsored the club for eight years, has led many students to feel the same passion for DECA and business.

  Beyond business, students have the opportunity to hone other skills through DECA. “I love competing and I am interested in the business experience. But people don’t just participate in DECA for business. This club gives you vital public-speaking skills and helps you prepare for interviews in the real world,” said Shah.

“I love the exchange of ideas as my friends and I discuss how we approached different problems. The creative aspect is so cool and I feel so passionate and excited when I get to explain my ideas,” said Shah.

“In DECA, I learned how to work in a timed situation. This helps in the future because when people start interviewing you are ready to answer on the spot,” said junior John Keenan.

“I have [learned] [everything from] eye contact [to] good handshake. You start to feel more confident,” said junior Will Richards.

Many more male students than female students participate in DECA. “Our club is disproportionately male, which is the case for the business field in general. When female students medal, we are able to face adversity and inspire females interested in business,” said Canel.

Ultimately, said Canel, “DECA is not just a club, but a community. I have gained long lasting friendships and knowledge from my fellow DECA members.”