Three seniors from Alice High School will be traveling to Orlando, Fla., later this month to represent their school district in the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC).
At the conference, the team will compete against the five best teams in every state, along with teams from Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam and even Germany, in the category of Internet Marketing Plan.
“You’re looking at more than 250 teams,” teacher and DECA sponsor Margie Barrios said.
In Internet Marketing Plan, or IMP, an individual or two- or three-person team must design a plan to start an online business, including creating and conducting a market research study and preparing a business plan based on their research.
The AHS DECA featured two IMP teams that competed at the district competition at the University of Texas - Pan American earlier this year and then the state competition in Ft. Worth in February.
“This is the first time that we’ve had two teams (at state),” Barrios said. “That was a nice accomplishment there.”
Advancing to the ICDC from Alice this year is the three-person team of seniors Bianca Guerra, Amber Magnus and Dara Martinez with their IMP project AhhhMazingFace Cosmetics, which focused on spray-on foundation.
“It’s an online business,” Bianca said. “We don’t have an actual store, just online.”
While the business is not real, Bianca said the team has to treat it like it is, creating a Web site and business cards for their startup company.
Barrios said IMP has two parts, a research paper and and oral presentation. She said the research paper, worth 60 percent of the team’s final score, has to detail everything involved in starting their business.
“From promotion and advertising to financing it, human resources, the entire startup of a business,” she said.
“There’s an outline that we have to follow,” Amber said. “We worked on it both inside and outside of class and since we have periods off, we utilized that time to work on the paper.”
With the oral presentation, the students roleplay that the judge is a potential investor for their business and they must get him or her to invest $50,000 in their company by selling the judge on their company’s potential growth over the next few years.
“It’s a 15-minute presentation,” Amber said. “You have to take about 10 minutes to present and then five minutes for questions, but you can divide it however you want.”
“During the presentation we also have a PowerPoint as well as our Web site,” Bianca said.
As the competition draws closer, the team said they are excited about going to Florida.
“We’re going to go do our thing and we’re going to be amazing,” Dara said.
Amber said she is excited as well, though she had to make one big sacrifice in order to make sure she could get time off of work for the competition.
“I gave up my Spring Break for Florida,” she said. “I worked all the way through Spring Break so I could go.”
Alice High School also had a second DECA team compete in the state competition with seniors Zulema Rodriguez and Brianna Ybarra being named as first alternates for the international competition with their IMP project Cupcake Couture.
“It was hard for them because to place first alternate was also a very big accomplishment in their category,” Barrios said.
Barrios said that while the two AHS DECA teams competed in the same category, they were judged in different sections so they were not in direct competition with one another.
Because of space concerns at the ICDC, Barrios said they would not be able to take the alternates to Florida.
“The main reason is because so many Texas teams are going that (DECA) could house everyone in the same hotel,” she said. “They were asking for just the winners. They could not house the alternates.”
The DECA International Career Development Conference will be in Orlando, Fla., from April 30 to May 3.