Junior Kristin Priest moves on to international DECA competition

Juniors Tony Galanti, DECA Sponsor Holly Weber, Caleb Canatoy and Kristin Priest finish competing at the State DECA competition in Kansas City. Weber helped Priest prepare for each of her competitions through online practice. “I hope that I medal, but just the fact that I’m qualified is pretty awesome,” Priest said. “So, whatever I do I’m glad that I’ll be there. I will be there for six days by myself, so it will be a good learning experience.”

Courtesy of Kristin Priest

Juniors Tony Galanti, DECA Sponsor Holly Weber, Caleb Canatoy and Kristin Priest finish competing at the State DECA competition in Kansas City. Weber helped Priest prepare for each of her competitions through online practice. “I hope that I medal, but just the fact that I’m qualified is pretty awesome,” Priest said. “So, whatever I do I’m glad that I’ll be there. I will be there for six days by myself, so it will be a good learning experience.”

After placing third in the Apparel and Accessories Marketing category at the DECA state competition in Kansas City March 11-13, junior Kristin Priest is moving on to the International Career and Development Conference (ICDC) in Atlanta, Ga. April 21-24.

“At the state competition, there were about 50 people competing against me, much different than the 15 people from districts,” Priest said. “It is such a larger scale of where you are competing so that got me kind of nervous but I think it also made me more excited.”

Competitors for the ICDC traveled from all over the United States including Mexico, Canada, Guam and Puerto Rico.

“It is a fantastic learning experience, and Kristin will come back much more confident because she will see that she truly can compete at the highest level,” Marketing teacher and internship coordinator Holly Weber said.

The competition consists of two parts, the first being the role-playing situations. Priest will receive a page-long scenario, compile and perfect a marketing plan in 10 minutes.

“A scenario could be a customer misread a return policy and would like a refund for their items. I have to present my thoughts,” Priest said. “It is so important to stay in character and always pretend you are the expert on what you are talking about, regardless of the fact that you received the prompt only 10 minutes before.”

It is so important to stay in character and always pretend you are the expert on what you are talking about, regardless of the fact that you received the prompt only 10 minutes before.”

— Kristin Priest

There is also an individual knowledge-based multiple choice test after the role-playing situations.

“[The multiple choice test] tends to be quite challenging,” Priest said. “It is really hard to prepare for it because there is so much under the business umbrella that could show up on the exam.”

Practicing at district competitions with the close support of her peers, using her online resources and becoming knowledgeable with the DECA language helped Priest prepare for the competition.

“Learning marketing and business vocabulary really helped my confidence and eased my nerves for the competition,” Priest said.

Priest will continue to utilize her online resources, along with flashcards and practice tests to practice for the ICDC competition.

“Mrs. Weber will be my main assistant until ICDC, so I will be working a lot one-on-one with her practicing and perfecting my role plays. I will print out a couple role play situations and work through them with Weber and my mom,” Priest said.

According to Priest, she learned to trust her gut after participating in the competitions

“I’m more confident in my decisions,” Priest said.  “I have also gained valuable communication skills that will truly propel me to a successful career.”