On the Spot: State DECA success leads to students advancing to internationals (with video)


Pranati Kandi

Coppell High School senior Rushil Nakkana displays winnings from this weekend’s DECA State Career Development Conference at the Fort Worth Convention center. In these competitions, members receive business scenarios and work in groups of two to find a solution in hopes of advancing to internationals.

Laura Boylan

Sydney Rowe, Staff Writer/Photographer

Over the weekend, 121 Coppell Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) students competed in Fort Worth for the state competition. Fifteen of those students beat out thousands of other competitors from across the state to advance to internationals in Nashville, Tenn. at the end of April.

The competition consists of two types of presentations centralized on business. One is a written event, a year-long project where participants write a report and the other is characterized as roleplaying, where competitors are given a scenario, 30 seconds to prepare and are then expected to present.

“For my event, since it’s a roleplay, I practiced different scenarios that I found online,” Coppell senior DECA treasurer Surya Thandra said. “I also thought of different responses that I could give to the performance indicators that are giving the case study for my event.”

Coppell senior DECA president Rushil Nakkana is one of the 15 to advance to the international competition. His event, integrated marketing campaign, is unique in that it combines a test and presentation aspect.

To have been able to advance in an event such as integrated marketing campaign, Nakkana and his partner, senior Shradha Panatpur, who is DECA co-vice president at Coppell, took a test prior to the larger competition this weekend. They did this prep in addition to focusing time on other aspects of their event.

“We had to study for the online test, which we took two weeks ago as well as practice our presentation over and over again,” Nakkana said. 

As one advances further in the competition, the level needed to perform increases. Panatpur is already preparing what she needs to do to perform at the same high level in Nashville. 

“A lot of the questions [on the test] are not something you see at school, so you just have to look at the vocab and stuff outside of the time you have in school,” Panatpur said. “We can definitely improve on the test because the score you have to get at nationals is higher than the qualifications for state.”

Thandra said the specific skills gained through DECA will help him get an upper hand in college and in adult life. 

“DECA is a lot of fun, first of all,” Thandra said. “We get to experience the business side and competitions, not just starting a business and making money.”


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