Key Steps to Winning in DECA

Aug 29, 2023

Contributed by Shivank Dhamija | Monta Vista High School, CA

Winning on an international stage requires perseverance, dedication and passion. My journey with DECA began with high hopes but initial failure. However, I didn't let this deter me. I used resources like DECA Direct and consulted with chapter officers, association directors, industry professionals and previous DECA ICDC Champions. This effort paid off when I qualified for ICDC after placing 4th at the California SCDC.

DECA became my passion. I managed my time effectively to balance schoolwork and DECA role-play practice. I practiced my role-plays for 6 hours a day for two months, driven by my obsession to perfect them. Winning requires passion, dedication and a desire to grow, learn and win. To win, you need to maximize your resources. Reach out to other DECA chapters, search the internet for resources and contact previous winners (contact me on Instagram @shivank_dhamija for help). I also used study guides, sought tips and learned new terms for testing. I also read educational books on the cluster my test was based on.

Every role-play should be executed multiple times to the best of your ability. The only way to improve is by being watched by the best. On the competition day, nerves are a factor, but it's up to you to act on them. Confidence is key, and it comes from preparation and action. Learning is crucial. Impress judges with confidence and realism. Your role-play should feel so authentic that they forget you're a high schooler. Your solutions should be unique and practical, enhancing the authenticity of your role-play.

These tips may seem basic, but the difference lies in actually implementing them. If you have the drive to win and are passionate and disciplined, you can win any DECA conference. Find love in DECA; then you can win.

You can read more about Shivank's tips here.


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