DECA Success

“It makes you feel more independent, and it helps you understand how things work in the real world.”

DECA Success

Amidst online learning and the chaos of Covid 19, the Albuquerque Academy DECA team has had a wildly successful year. DECA is an international business competition for high school and collegiate students. The club at Academy competes at events both locally and nationally.  There are roughly 50 different business-themed events that students can participate in within the competition, ranging from marketing to hospitality services. Students can compete in solo or two-person team events. 

The students first compete at district and, if they advance, then at State and finally on the national level.  To prepare for the district competition, students study for a written test.  If they get a high enough score, the competitor or team will advance to the state competition.  Once at the state competition, participants take another written test and also perform a roleplay presentation.  If a team ranks in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place within their event, they advance to nationals.  The advancing participants travel as part of the New Mexico team and represent the state.  Once at nationals, thousands of students from around the world compete within their events. 

DECA coach Bruce Orem distributes some of the teams many medals. (Danny Packer)

 The business club has grown exponentially in the last three years since Mr. Bruce Orem, the chief financial officer at Albuquerque Academy and DECA team coach, took over.  “My first year we took eight kids to nationals; last year we qualified about 20 kids for nationals, and this year we are taking 34 students,” Orem stated. This year, there are 55 students on the team, so over half qualified for nationals.  Although the team isn’t the largest in the state,  they have the highest percentage of qualifiers per school in New Mexico for nationals, and they have the most first-place wins of any team in the state. 

COVID-19 has had a large impact on DECA competitions.  “The competition this year was definitely different.  Ordinarily, we would be sitting face to face with a judge and doing our role play in front of them, whereas this year you just pre-recorded yourself,” said Justin Hickey ‘21. Nationals were unable to happen last year because of COVID-19 restrictions.  This year, all competitions have been online and will continue to be for the remainder of the school year.  

DECA provides students with an opportunity to learn more about business, something that will have a big impact on their future.  “It makes you feel more independent, and it helps you understand how things work in the real world,” said Sofia Wolinski ‘22. Mia Thomas ‘22 also said,“ It teaches you common sense and gives you common knowledge about business.” Both Wolinski and Thomas highlighted that the club was very beneficial for anyone, whether they were planning to go into business or not.

The team is always looking for new members.  Any student in grades 10-12 can join the club, and no prior experience or knowledge in the field of business is required.  However, prospective club members should join at the beginning of the year so that they can compete at the competitions.  Congratulations to the Albuquerque Academy DECA club and the best of luck to them at Nationals.   We can’t wait to see what success they will have in the future!