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Q&A with junior Sriyesh Sirineni on DECA competitions

Avery Carlisle
Junior Sriyesh Sirineni works on his Integrated Marketing Campaign paper on Feb. 16 for upcoming DECA competitions. Sirineni said his motivation for DECA comes from the opportunity to travel to California and the social aspects during competitions.

What event do you participate in for DECA competitions?

This year I did a paper, specifically Integrated Marketing Campaign. 

Why did you choose your event?

I’m in IB Business and for IB Business you have to write a paper for the class, so I decided to compete with it. I chose Integrated Marketing Campaign because most other papers are 20 pages. This one is only 10, but it has a 100-question quiz, but that’s still more manageable than 20 pages.

Could you explain what you do during competitions?

You have Districts and then if you advance from Districts, you go to State. For my specific event, the Integrated Marketing Campaign, I have a product and I have to figure out a way to market it and expand the company. I role-play as someone from the company and I pitch my ideas and how I’m going to do it, and I go over what I need to do to expand.

How do you prepare for these competitions?

Since I’m taking a quiz, like the 100-question test, I have got to know the vocabulary. Carmel DECA does workshops before districts and states and they also have really big packets for practice exams. And DECA Plus has flashcards and interactive learning. Then, I’ve just got to work on my presentation.

What motivates you in DECA?

So ICDC (International Career Development Conference) this year, which is like the final (competition), is in Disney. So you go five days in California, spend a whole day in Disney, which speaks for itself. It’s pretty motivating.

Do you want to pursue a business career in your future? If so, how has DECA impacted this decision?

I don’t know yet, but most likely. I just like how it’s very real world, I guess. Everything that you learn in business, whether it be (economics) or networking skills, can be applied in real life, and I’m pretty good at them from what I think.

What made you decide to join DECA in the first place?

An extracurricular is what it started out as, but I had a lot of fun doing it last year with States and the Internationals. Yeah, you present a lot, but you’re spending a full day at Disney or a full day in downtown Indy, and you just have fun.

In what ways has joining DECA impacted you as a student?

As a student, it’s helped me with my presentation skills. Last year I did a role-play and for a role-play, you only have 10 minutes to prep, so it helped me understand preparing beforehand. 

How do you balance your time with DECA, school and other activities you’re in?

I’m in IB Business, so DECA’s a part of the class. Luckily for me, I have a whole class period to do it, so I don’t really need to do it outside of school.

Can you share your most memorable experience at a DECA competition? 

Last year at SCDC (State Career Development Conference), we went into lockdown because there was a shooting at Lucas Oil Stadium, so that was most memorable. But a good one would be just spending time with friends. It’s a lot of fun. That’s why I keep doing it. With these comps, you only compete for about 30 minutes a day and then you basically have the rest of the time to do whatever you want. 

What skills do you think are most important for your success in DECA competitions and how do you use those skills? 

Most important probably (would) be your presentation ability and your ability to sell yourself because that’s what you’re doing. Basically every single event, you’re either pitching (an idea), you’re coming up with a new idea or you’re showing your success. I think success comes from just being able to sell yourself. 

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in DECA?

Just study. It goes a long way. I decided to slack off on the test last year. I did a good job on my role-play, but the test was a deciding factor and I didn’t do too hot on it, because I was like, “I got this,” but everybody else there also has the same thing as me. We’re all at the same level and they’re probably also competing harder than me. 

How much time do you dedicate to DECA?

It depends on your event, because for a role play, you only have 10 minutes, but for a paper, it’s a 20-page paper or a 10-page paper, which is going to take a lot more primary research. I’d say back when I was writing my paper since I was in class, I was just doing it like all class basically until I finished it. 

Do you feel like the CHS business classes and programs have prepared you for DECA?

One hundred percent because DECA is very centered around Carmel High School business classes. All business teachers will encourage (DECA). You have to be in a business class to do DECA in the first place, so a lot of what you learn will only set you up for success. 

Which event that you’ve done in the past has been your favorite and why?

I’ve only done two so far. I did role-play last year and I did paper this year. I haven’t done State yet, so I don’t have much to speak on it, but I think the paper has been a little bit easier because I already know what I’m going to do prior and there’s not like a multitude of different role plays I could get and I’m not really good at thinking on the spot. I’m more of a prep guy, so that made it a lot easier for me.

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