CFHS students glimpse into business world

CFHS DECA advanced six seniors to the national contest after the state competition in Des Moines that ended on Monday, March 1. Students arrived on Sunday at AIB business college in Des Moines and were among 325 competitors from around the state to compete for slots to move on to the national competition. The CFHS DECA group had 30 students competing at State.

At the college, the students took a test, did a role play, or presented a project to a panel of judges. Those who received second place or higher advanced to Nationals. Seniors Mason Troendle, Tyler Brewer, Matt Hart and Alex Entz all placed first in their events, and seniors Linden Terpstra, Allison Duchman and Alexis Rokes placed second.

“We were happy to learn that we had placed first for our paper, and we were surprised with how well we scored and hope it translates to Nationals,” said Matt Hart, who did his project on Sports and Entertainment Marketing with Entz.

DECA participants could chose from over 21 different topics to work on individually or in teams for their event. They could then opt to write a research paper or create a businesses plan, take a test over the subject matter and do a role play, or do both.

Senior Linden Terpstra chose to do Apparel and Accessories Marketing for her topic and opted to take a test and do role plays.

“I had to take the Marketing Cluster exam right after I arrived on Sunday. There was lots of business terminology, and you really had to know what you were talking about,” Terpstra said.

Terpstra also did two role plays as part of her event. For the role play, students are given various business situations or problems and 10 minutes to prepare how they would handle the situation. They present their solution acting as the manager, or whoever they are assigned to be, and are subject to questioning.

“For my first role play, I accidentally sold a person’s watch that was on layaway, and for my second, I had to make a promotional plan for a clothing store. I drew from past DECA experience and my experience being a manager at Coldstone also gave me some real life business experience to draw from,” Terpstra said.

Others, such as Rokes, chose to create a business plan in addition to doing role plays.

Rokes’ topic area was Entrepreneurship, and for her project she created her own business– a golf retail and indoor hitting range called Specialties. She wrote an 11-page paper explaining what she’d sell and do, the details of how she’d promote it, and included flow charts of how much money she’d make and how much everything would cost.

“I chose something that I somewhat know about and something that I would want in the community. It took a long time; I worked on it at least an hour to two hours every night for two weeks, but I’m excited now to have the opportunity to revise it and hopefully make it at Nationals,” Rokes said.

Nationals will be held this year in Louisville, Ky., and the CFHS DECA students will road trip down. At Nationals, there are over 10,000 students from all across the nation and abroad. Students re-present their projects to vie for one of 10 top positions in each category.

“I think the state competion gives a great experience of being put in a professional situation. It really gives them a chance to see what the business world is like, but I think Nationals really puts in a much more realistic situation. With 10,000 kids there to get in the top 10, they’re there to win,” adviser Matt Flaherty said.
Terpstra is also looking forward to the trip to Kentucky.

“It’s a great business opportunity to be placed in that situation. You get an opportunity to make different connections with people from all across the country and have an experience you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.”

Terpstra, like all the other CFHS Nationals qualifiers this year, has advanced to Nationals in years past. For Entz, this trip marks his third year at Nationals.

“I think by the time they’re seniors, generally, seniors know what it takes and have had the experience,” Flaherty said.

However, underclassmen still found it to be a valuable experience.

“It’s a lot of fun and a good way to meet other kids around the state that share a passion for business. It also gives you an experience to compete in an event that prepares you for the business world,” sophomore Ben Challgren said.

 

State DECA Results

First Place

Mason Troendle – Sports/Entertainment Marketing; Tyler Brewer – Technical Sales Presentation; Matt Hart & Alex Entz – Sports & Entertainment Research Paper
Second Place

Linden Terpstra – Apparel Marketing; Allison Duchman – Sports/Entertainment Marketing; Alexis Rokes – Entrepreneurship Business Plan

Third Place

Connor Brooks – Hotel & Lodging Marketing; Ben Nevitt and Michael Relph – Financial Services Team Management; Aubrey Caruso & Sarah Kress – Hospitality Marketing Team; Matt Hart & Alex Entz – Sports & Entertainment Team Management

Honorable Mention

Cameron Henry – Business Services Marketing; Stephen Poe – Marketing Management; Dylan Deery & Ben Challgren – Buying & Merchandising Team; Henry Schares & Matt Klinehart – Buying & Merchandising Team; Alana Alberts & Jordan Smoldt – Travel and Tourism Management Team

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