IHS DECA club prepares for competition season

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Addison Williams

The Independence High School (IHS) Distributive Education clubs of America (DECA) is preparing for their upcoming competition season this school year. 

DECA is a leadership organization designed for students to apply their knowledge through project based assignments, partnering with local businesses, and highlighting the benefit of community service and responsibility. 

Sophomore Tanvi Muppala, DECA secretary and treasurer, gives insight on what the DECA club will be participating in the 2021-2022 school year. 

“In DECA, we have levels of competition in which you must pass through each level to get to the next. We will have districts, state, and ICDC for qualifiers,” said Muppala. “We have many different types of events to choose from, but the main categories are presentational events, series, entrepreneurship, and team decision making. We have already started preparing for the events through our competition meetings.”

A chart representing the four different clusters of DECA events.

Muppala details what is included in a typical DECA meeting, and the events DECA is planning to attend. 

“In the meetings, we help members decide on events, obtain necessary competition resources, and practice for future competitions. I really look forward to our socials and competitions,” said Muppala. “We get to travel for competitions this year since they will be in person, so we will be getting an amazing experience,” she said. “We have big plans this year to expand the club and maybe even have a pop up at the front of the school.”

Muppala poses at the camera, for the DECA leadership gallery photos.

Senior Induja Asthigiri, DECA vice president of competition, shared her favorite parts about being an officer in the DECA community and why she decided to join the organization. 

“Although DECA is primarily perceived as an organization targeted towards students interested in a career in business, DECA is an extremely beneficial club for anyone intending to go into any career path, whether that be medicine, law, engineering, fine arts, or computer science,” said Asthigiri. “I was always set on pursuing a career in the medical field, and I still am. After doing research on the vast amount of events that can be associated with any career field and competing, I realized that DECA has immensely helped me hone my skills to become an exceptional medical professional in the future.”

Asthigiri has competed in past DECA competitions within the previous school year as a junior, and is also currently a qualifier in the DECA State Competition this February. 

“I competed in the Innovation Plan event last year, where myself and my team created a business plan on any kind of the product or company we envision. I created my plan and presentation

on a smart contact lens that allows diabetic patients to monitor their glucose levels,” said Asthigiri. “Participating in this event allowed me to hone my communication skills and be able to explain certain medical concepts in layman’s terms to a judge who did not quite understand all the medical jargon.”

Induja Asthigiri poses at the camera, for the DECA leadership gallery photos.

Senior Saivee Shelke, president of the DECA club, tells how much the club has grown and what she has learned from her experiences. 

“With a massive increase in membership this year, I am so excited to see all our members challenge themselves in a new arena and begin their DECA journey,” said Shelke. “What I love the most about being part of the DECA team is how much I’ve grown over the last four years, both professionally and personally. Competing in DECA has given me the confidence and business acumen that I continue to apply in my everyday life while having memorable experiences along the way. 

Shelke explains a new addition to the DECA organization this year. 

“A new addition to our plan is hosting prep sessions every month, where members can come in and get their questions answered by our advisor and officer team,” she said. “We will be guiding them through each component of their event, whether it be a part of their written plan or how to prepare for roleplay during competition. They will also get a chance to receive feedback on their events as they continue to practice.” 

Shelke poses at the camera for the DECA leadership photo gallery.

This year, DECA’s district competition will take place on January 19 at the Irving Convention center, and the DECA state competition will be held February 24-26 in Houston. International competitions will be occurring in Atlanta, Georgia April 23-26. To keep updated on the IHS DECA club this year, students and staff can visit their social media, including Instagram (@ihsknightsdeca), and by checking out posts that use the hashtags #TexasDECA, #DECA, and #ihsknightsdeca.