How to Choose Your Competitive Event
Given the vast realm of DECA competitive events, it can be difficult to know which will be the right fit for you. Luckily, there are a few steps that you can take to make a more educated decision before signing up.
The first step in understanding competitive events is asking yourself, “What do I want out of this experience?”. It is important to assess whether you want to build communication and teamwork skills, focus on potential career paths, or even try something you’ve never done before. After determining your purpose, it will be much easier to narrow down a group of specific events that you might want to try participating in.
The next step is to do as much research as you can about what that competitive event entails. A great way to do this is by looking at the High School or Collegiate competitive event pages. Each event has a description of how it is conducted, the guidelines and a sample event. After narrowing your list down to a few events, try doing a few of the samples and see which one fits your style.
Eventually, you should have a list of around 2-3 events that you feel comfortable competing in. The trick to selecting the best event is choosing one where you will be offered the most support or where you have the best chance of success. For example, if you’ve narrowed it down to BFS (a finance-focused role play) and FOR (a finance-focused written event), but you know that your chapter has historically performed better in written events, it may make more sense to compete in FOR. Of course, don’t necessarily let your chapter’s past performance discourage you from venturing out and trying something new—that is part of the learning process.
Finally, for all the DECA veterans out there, the question that always comes up is: “Do I compete in the same event as last year?” DECA events are always changing so you can be almost certain that you won’t see the same type of situation or problem again this year. However, don’t be afraid to try something new and gain experience in another area.
Competition is something that lies in the bedrock of the DECA. I encourage you to do as much research and preparation as you can before deciding on an event. Best of luck; go get that #DECAGlass!
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