Digital DECA & BPA

BV Business students discuss virtual DECA, BPA competitions

Claire C. Stein, Staff Writer

This year has certainly been one for the history books. With the challenges COVID-19 has brought to the school, many activities are making changes in order to comply with health guidelines and the activities in BV Business, DECA and BPA, are no exceptions.

As the 2020-2021 DECA president for the state of Kansas, senior Varoon Enjeti, and chapter board member, junior Sarah Walsh have dealt with these complications first hand.

“We cannot compete in-person, so we have not competed at all this year,” Walsh said, “Normally, at this time, we would already have had one to two mini DECA competitions.”

The first BPA competition of the year will be this December followed by two more competitions next semester prior to State and Nationals. For DECA, only the State competition has been planned.

DECA and BPA are case-based business competitions that take place throughout the year. Students compete individually, in pairs or in small groups with both a written component, such as an exam or report and an interactive component with an industry professional serving as a judge.

“Virtual is the best option right now and we will continue to adapt as a chapter.”

— Sarah Walsh, 11

“[At competitions,] you’re given a real-world business prompt, and you’re told to solve it,” Enjeti said. “That [could] be a project that you prepare ahead of time or a prompt [displayed] at the competition where you’re given 10 to 20 minutes to present a solution to the judge.”

Walsh has already started to prepare for the BPA competition. Even though the competitions will be virtual, she is preparing for them in the same way that she would if they were held in person, by creating a presentation and preparing her interview materials.

“These competitions are so focused on interpersonal and presentation skills, which are hard to showcase virtually,” Walsh said. “I am competing in the same events, one presentation and one mock interview, so it will be very similar to do over Zoom.”

In the past, BV has hosted competitions for BPA and DECA which helped to increase the number of  members. Because that is not feasible right now, BV Business has not brought in very many people, so they have had to come up with creative ways to reach new members.

Enjeti has helped to do this in a couple of different ways. As the DECA representative of the Kansas student body, he is in charge of managing social media and bringing new ideas to the statewide organization. Enjeti has also incorporated some new features and ideas into DECA in efforts to attract members and make this year more interactive.

“Since we haven’t been able to have that many competitions or even meet with the students, I created a members network which allows us to give information to all the chapters directly in a pyramid format,” Enjeti said. “I’ve also made a social media plan so we can keep members engaged.”

Both Enjeti and Walsh have worked to make this year the best it can be, and although they miss being in-person, they do not want to jeopardize others’ health.

“Although competing in-person is ideal, I would not want to risk the health of our members, members from other chapters, judges, or advisors by competing in-person,” Walsh said. “Therefore, virtual is the best option right now, and we will continue to adapt as a chapter.”

Even with the unexpected difficulties that have come up in the past couple of months, Walsh continues to look on the bright side.

“I have met so many BV students that I probably would not have been friends with if it weren’t for BV Business, [and] it has provided me with so many amazing opportunities that will help me with any career path I choose.” Walsh said. “It is great to be involved in high school, and BV Business has been a great way to do so.”