Students Prepare for DECA Competition


This Friday, more than two dozen Overlake Upper School students will be spending their day away from school testing their leadership, project management, and communication skills in front of judges as part of a Washington State DECA competition.

The students are in Dave Parson’s DECA club and have been working tirelessly to prepare for Friday’s competition. “In December most of our Overlake DECA students had to take a test as part of their competition,” explains Parsons. “Many had put in hours of self – study preparation. I have been so impressed with their level of enthusiasm for DECA.”

DECA, which has been in existence for nearly 70 years, prepares high school and college students for future careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Held at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, the students will be competing with other area high school students on a variety of categories, including business start-ups, business law and ethics, sports and entertainment marketing, among others.

The students will each be given a scenario that falls into one of these categories. These will be problems that reflect something that would occur in the real business world. The students will have not seen these scenarios until this moment. Each student will have a limited amount of time (around 10 minutes) to quickly prepare their thoughts and solutions, along with any props they feel will help make their case, such as home-made business cards, flyers, etc. The students will then role play with a judge to showcase their quick-thinking, problem-solving ability.  Those students who receive top honors go on to compete at the next level.

For Overlake, competing in something like this provides real heads-on learning in a pressure-cooker sort of environment. “There is clearly widespread support for DECA in the Overlake community; we have a grandparent, staff, administrators, and parents helping me with the judging and supervision of a competition event,” says Parsons.