Members of the RM DECA club competed on March 10 and 11 in the state DECA competition, garnering 1st place as a school. Nearly all attending members were state finalists in their events.
DECA is a business organization with membership across the nation. Remarkably, the Richard Montgomery DECA chapter has only been in existence for three years. Dr. Alexander is the RM DECA advisor and accompanied DECA members to the Maryland DECA Career Development Conference.
In the first year, only four members of the club went to the state competition, while this year, more than sixty members attended the competition. Senior Rachit Agrawal, who is also co-president of the club, remarked, “The next year, we brought more than 25 members to competition, won third place, and made it our goal to #beatreservoir in 2016.” Through hardwork and dedication, the RM DECA club achieved their goal.
The competition was held in Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Maryland. More than 200 DECA members and advisors attended across Maryland. Agrawal said, “Maryland DECA did a great job of making the conference organized and efficient this year. “
DECA members competed in a variety of events, from role-plays to papers. Many events also included a one-hour exam on the determined topic. For example, Sophomore Jason Hong placed first in the Independent Business Plan Event along with sophomores Jonathan Huang and Jonathan Zhang, in which they had to create a new business and describe the business a thirty-page paper. Junior Katherine Wang won first place with teammate Eric Li in the business and marketing team decision making event, which consisted of a marketing campaign role play.
Wang also ran for a Maryland DECA state officer position. She campaigned for and was elected Region 1 Vice President. She will preside over four counties in Maryland.
When the RM DECA members were not competing, they attended several workshops. Guest speakers presented on a variety of engaging topics from entrepreneurship to dressing for success. Hong said, “The event was organized very well and the whole event ran smoothly.”
In the closing ceremonies of the competition, members of the RM DECA team continuously were announced as finalists. Freshman David Molot, who received first place in the sports and entertainment marketing event, shared that winning “felt awesome. Simply awesome”.
“It was a lot of fun and worth the work!” Added Freshman Fatma Elsayed.
Beyond learning about aspects of business, participants gained important skills, such as public speaking. “I used to get nervous and stutter around judges” said Agarwal, “But after some practice, I became smoother and more confident.”
The seniors will soon pass the torch down to other students, and Agarwal said, “I want to genuinely show that with some teamwork, you can accomplish anything.” Senior Devin Bajaj, who is co-president of the RM DECA club, stated, “Being president has made me realize what an amazing organization DECA is and helping grow the club with my amazing co-president Rachit Agarwal has shown me how much we can achieve. In three years, we went from timid beginners to dominant experts. I want RM to realize its full potential and move further forward.”