Let’s Get Down to Business

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With December being National Write a Business Plan month, CHS’s DECA chapter also begins their preparation for the competition season. Students can compete in various events within four major clusters – Hospitality and Tourism, Business Management and Administration, and Finance and Marketing. Within Business Management and Administration students are able to create business plans for different companies.

“(Business plans) include anything from working with real companies and studying employee engagement levels, measuring those at real-life companies and offering plans to increase employee engagement,” Richard Reid, lead DECA advisor and IB Business teacher, said.

In addition to business plans, students can do ad and promotional campaigns, working with companies like the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Members can also choose to do entrepreneur plans and build a hypothetical company from scratch.        Beyond the written events, members can also participate in roleplays. According to Liam Mountain, Co-Vice President of Competitive Events and senior, roleplays include a 10 minute preparation period where a business scenario is given, followed by a 10 minute presentation on the scenario. Additionally, there is also a test where competitors assess a business plan for a judge.

Members are not alone in preparation for these events. DECA leaders offer study sessions where members can improve upon roleplays and hone their presentation skills.

“It’s always a challenge with incoming freshmen and club kids to get them started,” Tyler Burdon, Co-Vice President of Competitive Events and senior, said.

With the District testing finishing, the club is well into the process of the competition. After competing in the District level with Westfield High School and surrounding high schools, CHS will advance to the State level, which will be in downtown Indianapolis. After that, the top 3 or 4 of each category will advance to the first round of the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) competition, which will be held in Nashville, Tenn. in April.

“We’ve faced against people from Spain, different Asian countries, and a lot from Canada,” said Burdon. “Canada’s our big rival.”

According to Burdon, the initial round of ICDC will be nearly the same to the rounds in at State level. Then, the top 10 finalists of the first round at ICDC will advance to the second round and present to a separate judge.After sending over 112 members to ICDC last year and having 19 Top 10 ICDC Finishers, CHS’s DECA chapter is often recognized as one of the best in the world. However, despite this success, the group’s goal is not to replicate those victories.

“I know the kids have said they want to have ten Top 10s…and that’s a very achievable goal,” said Reid. “But you never know who your judge is.”

Mountain said he shares the same sentiments, his goals also extending beyond the competitive aspect of DECA.

“Even the underclassmen who don’t make ICDC this year, we want to make sure they are willing to come back next year and continue,” Mountain said.

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