DECA Club Represents California in International Business Competition


Graphic by Aditi Salunkhe

Juniors Jasmine Davis and Haniya Hassaan and seniors Yan Dong, Jana Malek and Jenny Zhang attended the international DECA business competition on April 22-25. The International Career Development Conference is focused on enriching students’ entrepreneurship skills in finance, marketing, hospitality and tourism, business management and communications, according to DECA.

Juniors Jasmine Davis and Haniya Hassaan and seniors Yan Dong, Jana Malek and Jenny Zhang represented California in the international DECA business competition at the Orange County Convention Center in Orange, Florida on April 22-25. Davis, Hassaan and Malek competed in the international business category, while Dong and Zhang competed in the finance category.

In the international business category, competitors create and present business plans for judges to analyze, according to Davis. Hassaan, Davis and Malek created a project on water filtration systems in Pakistan.

“It’s really a very good learning experience,” Davis said. “Even if you don’t win, you get to learn what you can do to improve, and you can see other people and how they competed as well.”

In the finance category, competitors take a 100-question multiple choice test on financial service decision-making and role-play a financial analysis scenario in front of a judge. 

Dong and Zhang prepared for their event by taking practice exams and referring to answer keys in order to understand their mistakes. Analyzing and correcting their errors was crucial to achieving success in the competition, according to Dong.

“DECA is not only a competition that helps you grow your knowledge of different fields in business, including marketing, entrepreneurship, finance and hospitality, but you’re also able to grow your professional skills,” Zhang said.

More than 18,000 high school students, teacher advisers, business professionals and alumni attended, according to DECA. Over 200 teams from all 50 states and world countries, such as Canada and Spain, participated, with only two out of the 200 teams qualifying for the second round of the finance category, according to Zhang.

After the conference, competitors attended DECA night, a social event hosted at Universal Studios Florida where students enjoyed the festivities, bonded and had a fun experience overall, according to Zhang.

“It is really an opportunity for you to talk with different people and also learn about how they prepare and how their chapter goes,” Dong said. “In that way, you learn how to, in the future, make yourself have better preparation and also just how to improve your own chapter.”

The students are now preparing to host a business conference that will consist of a school-wide competition open to all students on May 20 on campus, according to Zhang.