MVHS DECA officers attend the Ultimate DECA Power Trip conference in Washington D.C.

DECA officers and eight freshmen travel to Washington D.C. for their first noncompetitive conference

Collin Qian, Visuals Editor

MV DECA officers take a picture in front of a Washing D.C. monument. Photo used with permission of MV DECA.

On Nov. 14, the MVHS DECA took a flight across the state to the Ultimate DECA Power Trip conference in Washington D.C. After four days away from Cupertino, officers senior Rishabh Ranjan, sophomore Riya Ranjan and junior Gayatri Rithe specifically pointed out that the unique environment with various monuments and museums they stayed in, the bonding time with the officer team and inspiration for the upcoming DECA season made the trip a great experience. Although MVHS DECA has competed in DECA conferences every year, this was their first time attending a DECA leadership conference.

Junior Gayatri Rithe shares her experience in visiting multiple monumental sites in the country’s capital with an event called “DECA After Dark”, where students on the trip had the opportunity to explore Washington D.C. at night.

“My favorite memory was the ‘DECA After Dark’ tour because we got to see several different monuments and learned the significance of each of the buildings and why they were built the way they were in D.C.,” Rithe said.

Ranjan felt the same way about the tour as she specifically enjoyed the Vietnam War Memorial site that she enjoyed and found interesting during the tour because of the personal connection that the officers were able to make with the site.

DECA freshmen pose for a photo. Photo used with permission of MV DECA

“Engraved into the wall [of the Vietnam War Memorial] were the names of the people who had died in the Vietnam War,” Ranjan said. “It was really interesting because even people from MVHS DECA had family that served in the war. It’s cool to see how in a way you’re related to history and can personally connect to it.”

At the conference, officers were given the option to attend workshops that piqued their interest. The workshops served to inspire attendees of the business world and give them more insight into the DECA organization, specifically on the upcoming competitions. Rithe’s most memorable workshops were on becoming an entrepreneur in highschool and also a workshop that gave insight into how judges judged DECA competitors on their presentations.

“So there were multiple different workshops, along with colleges that came to visit in these college booths. The workshops range, kind of from life advice or business advice,” Rithe said. “One example was ‘How to Become a CEO in High School’ and the speaker was someone who was actually a CEO in high school and we got to ask him questions.”

MV DECA attends a workshop at the Ultimate DECA Power Trip conference. Photo used with permission of MV DECA

Rithe also really enjoyed the format of the conference as attendees had much more freedom with where they wanted to go and what workshops they wanted to attend. This, in addition to the fact that the hotel was near the workshops, made the entire experience at the conference much better personally for Rithe.

“Each hour there were there were about four to five workshops available,” Rithe said. You got to choose which workshops, you wanted to attend and you had the liberty to leave workshops so you didn’t have to sit through it if you realized that you weren’t actually interested. That made the experience so much better and gave us a lot more freedom.”

Ranjan found the workshop about insight into how judges score DECA presentations as the most helpful. However, the best experience that Ranjan had on the trip was not the workshops or the speeches he heard at the conference, but rather the time he spent with the officers.

At the conference, Ranjan had new responsibilities he had never faced previously, as this was his first conference as an officer. He also had to monitor the freshmen that they took along on the trip.

MV DECA takes a photo in front of the Obelisk monument in Washington D.C. Photo used with permission of MV DECA

“We had to bring along a bunch of freshmen, and they were misbehaving a lot, so we had to enforce the rules,” Ranjan said. “It’s kind of weird being an officer after spending three years as a member.”

The group returned to Cupertino on Nov. 19 from the D.C. conference. The point of the conference was to inspire them and motivate them for the upcoming DECA season.

“I think that this conference is really important because in this culture and social climate, it’s incredibly emphasized that you must be successful at whatever it is you’re doing, but I learned that we don’t really consider the importance of failure and how it is a very big stepping stone toward success,” Rithe said. “A lot of the workshops taught me that failing is okay and is necessary to achieve your goals.”