Bruins bring home wins from DECA state competition

Brittany Cornelison

This weekend, 22 of marketing students attended the state DECA competition at the Lake of the Ozarks. These students were placed up against more than 1,400 the best DECA students from all around Missouri, which has the sixth largest amount of DECA participants in the nation.
Out of the 22, seven individuals and two team pairs qualified for a place at the upcoming International Career Development Conference (Nationals) in Salt Lake City, UT in April.
The competition consisted of two parts. The first part is a 100 question exam taken in one hour that assesses their basic marketing knowledge. Secondly, the students must role-play and figure out what they would do in a real world marketing scenario in their category and must present a solution in front of a judge who will then review the students’ response.
“I believe that DECA competition is important to students because, like any competition, students want to see how they measure up against the best,” One of the marketing teachers at the Columbia Area Career Center,  Scott Fuenfhausen said. “They are part of that group. It’s a little different than a sporting competition. This one is more academic. However, the drive to win and be recognized as one of the best in your area is fun and exciting. Watching our students achieve level of excellence is fantastic.”
Through this success, students involved in DECA enjoyed gaining experience. They had the chance to compete with students outside of our district and showcase their abilities. They are able to prepare themselves for upcoming jobs in their futures dealing with marketing.
“Everyone who is involved with DECA is way ahead of the game for a future career in business,” Sophomore Connor McCarty, a member of DECA, said.   “As far as picking a career this class and DECA have made me narrow my choices down with business.”
Out of those who qualified for Nationals only seven have committed to attending. This event in Salt Lake City, UT will be held from April 27- May 2. Here students will put their skills up against more than 16,000 students from across the country.
Even for those students who did not qualify for Nationals, a lot of work was put into preparing for this competition.
“The students who earn their places at state competition have put in a lot of individual effort to make it that far. First they must qualify at districts, which is difficult,”  Fuenfhausen said. “Watching our students achieve level of excellence is fantastic. I think that Mr.[Pete] Eichholz (fellow Marketing teacher) and I get as excited as the students when they win. However, we are extremely proud of all those who compete and give it a shot. It takes a lot of guts.”
By Brittany Cornelison