What is the Wilcox DECA Team?


Wilcox High School’s DECA Team. Courtesy of Wilcox

The success of Wilcox High School’s DECA Team continues to thrive as they succeed in the state competitions. Our very own Charger, senior Diane Shih, won first place in the DECA Personal Financial Literacy category. Many students are unaware of the work and dedication that the DECA team does or even what DECA stands for. Therefore, the question stands: What exactly does DECA do? 

DECA or Distributive Education Clubs of America, is a business competition that involves competing with other schools around the state or the world around topics that surround the world of business, entrepreneurship, finance, and more. These competitions include taking tests, performing a roleplay, competing in stock market simulations, or creating marketing plans. Senior Diane Shih, the president of Wilcox’s DECA team further elaborates on what DECA is about, stating, “DECA is one of the largest high school business competitions in the world, attracting nearly 225,000 competitors from all across the US and five other countries. The DECA team at Wilcox is a part of the Wilcox Business Experience. Together, we prepare, learn, and compete together in competitions at regional, state, and international levels. Our goal is to not only strengthen but also explore knowledge within the field of business.”

The DECA competitive events are grouped into three categories—case studies, role-plays, and prepared events or online simulations. Within each category and event, there are six career clusters—marketing, finance, hospitality, management, entrepreneurship, and personal financial literacy.

Personal Financial Literacy, the category Shih won first place in, is a category that tests competitors on their ability to understand personal finance. One can be tested on anything ranging from managing credit and debt to investing to earning income. During role plays, participants are often asked to take on the role of a financial advisor. The point of personal financial literacy is to be able to test how well an individual is able to think systematically with given financial information and engage in thorough decision-making processes. 

Being on the DECA team requires a lot of hard work and planning. When interviewing junior, Sohan Patra, on how our Wilcox DECA team was able to be successful this year, he stated, “Success in DECA requires hours and hours spent learning the material and practicing. Without those two things, it is likely impossible to perform well at the state or international competitions. A strong work ethic and motivation to learn and do better is also required.” Correspondingly, Shih admits the same thing stating that it takes, “lots and lots of practice.” Clearly, the students put diligence and hard work into the DECA team.

The DECA team meets up in preparation for the tournaments which requires many hours of preparations, ranging from two to five practices a week, depending on how much practice a member needs to succeed. Patra states, “Although it is longer hours, the more practice and hours that are put in, the better we are likely to do.”

On asking Shih how she felt about becoming the state champion in the Financial Literacy category, she explains, “I’m honestly a bit taken aback—this is something that I worked really hard for but didn’t really expect going into the competition. There are so many competitive and talented people in DECA, so my goal was just to try to do my best. I’m also really proud to be representing Wilcox and California in the international competition as it’s a huge honor to be a part of such great communities. Most importantly, I’m beyond grateful for those who have supported me throughout this process. Huge shoutout to my advisors Mr. Raffetto and Mrs. Armstrong and my Personal Financial Literacy teammates!”

Our Wilcox DECA team has many members with different roles in each event or career cluster. Patra competes in what is known as the stock market game event, a four month game over the first semester of the year. This year, Patra was responsible for creating a written report on the rationale for why one makes the trades that they do, and he was also required to give a fifteen minute presentation on his work. 

Overall, our DECA team competes in these events which allow them to experience what it is like to be a business professional. According to DECA, their overall mission is to, “prepare emerging professional leaders in the world of business for careers in marketing, finance, and more, as well as preparing them for the college environment.” All in all, DECA allows members to excel working through it.