A Merry Minicon

Mehek Gupta (10) discussed ways to make waiting lines in hotels a positive feature for her business.

Felicia Mo

Mehek Gupta (10) discussed ways to make waiting lines in hotels a positive feature for her business.

Felicia Mo, Staff Writer

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Irvington’s DECA chapter hosted its first mini-con of the year with Washington High Sunday, Dec. 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event took place on Irvington campus with a turnout rate of about 135 participants. Seventy-eight were from Irvington, with a majority being new DECA members looking for a chance to improve.

Since many officers on the Irvington team had experience with running mini-cons, the whole process was organized and efficient. According to DECA advisor Mr. Ballado, Irvington DECA started hosting mini-cons five years ago in 2013. The purpose was to give chapter members a sense of competition and prepare them for the NorCal and ultimately States conferences.

“Hopefully, the nerves that they feel here give them a sense of what doing a roleplay in front of an actual judge is like instead of practicing on their own,” said DECA co-president Kareena Wu (12). “It also gives them time to practice testing because a lot of them don’t do that, and testing is a big factor in scoring.”

DECA officers arrived at Irvington at 6:30 in the morning, with roughly an hour to set up the competition. Participants were grouped into three flights, that rotated between testing in the Norse Hall, business roleplays in the cafeteria, and two workshops in P1 and P2. All students wore professional attire in the event’s business-like atmosphere.

“Now I know what to expect,” first-year member Hema Madichetty (9) said. “I can prepare more because I know a little bit about the testing. And after I did my roleplay, I have more experience, too. So this is a good practice for the real thing.”

Irvington DECA made several changes to this year’s mini-con. To eliminate any confusion, each participant had a name tag with their scheduled times, roleplay event, and test type. Besides having DECA officers from Irvington and Washington, members of the California DECA States team and NorCal DAT judged participants’ roleplays as well.

“I think having state officers and NorCal DAT judging gives the kids a sense of professionalism because they’ve never worked with them before,” Kareena said.

In the future, Kareena hopes to improve communication with Washington’s DECA officers in order to facilitate planning and organization. Irvington DECA plans on hosting a second mini-con in February.