Business Clubs Compete for Members


Katie Erickson, Staff Writer

DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) have similar goals: to provide an opportunity for students to prepare for careers in the business world.

FBLA and DECA are nationwide organizations. Both groups are represented by clubs on campus that meet once a week at lunch.  FBLA meets on Thursdays and DECA on Wednesdays.

FBLA’s club  president, Brian Lederman, hopes students will enjoy learning about business. “My goals are to have members have fun and for them to learn about business so they can take the first steps into the business world,” he said.

DECA co-president Julie Meng is hopeful that her club will provide a competitive opportunity for its members. “This year we are trying to keep it simple. We want to build a good foundation for students who we think will compete a lot more next year,” she said.

It would appear that the two clubs are soliciting many of the same types of students for their membership.  Nevertheless, Lederman wants FBLA to be on good terms with DECA. “We are trying to be friendly with each other and we think that a healthy relationship will benefit the both of us,” he said.

According to Meng, DECA also is eager to get along. “We are trying to build a fruitful relationship,” she said.

Meng believes that DECA and FBLA are not the same. “FBLA is different because it focuses on business aspects such as accounting and a different sector of the business world,” she said.

Sophomore Sophiya Malvo joined DECA because it offers experience with marketing. “It is interesting to learn new ways of selling things and I hope to come out more skilled in business,” she said.

Planned guest speakers and tours are common in FBLA, such as their trip to Google Headquarters at Mountain View last year. Lederman’s plans for this year are to visit additional businesses and to have more professionals come into to talk to the FBLA members.

According to Meng, DECA will prepare for competition by creating presentations, building knowledge and having guest speakers. “We are going to be preparing presentations for the upcoming competition in January. We are going to have guest speakers coming in and we are going to have a lot of time just made for prepping for specific events,” she said.

According to Lederman, FBLA will compete in the annual Bay Area Sectionals in March with other local high schools. If they do well, they can move on to State and then National competitions. Lederman said the preparation is not too demanding, and that participation looks good on college applications.

The competitions have subsections like speech, selling a prepared idea and group contests such as entrepreneurship, business, law, and sports management. Last year, class of 2013’s Sydney Liu placed 3rd in Impromptu Speech.

DECA will have a competition in January. “There are 2 different types of events we plan on participating in, written events and role play events. For the written events, we have two comprehensive reports that are about 30 pages long, so that will take some time for us to edit out. For the role playing events, it’s about practicing speech ability and building our own knowledge about what marketing is, the aspects of marketing, the rules, and different trends,” she said.