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The Benefits of Business Clubs

DECA members with their advisors at the state competition in Virginia Beach.
DECA members with their advisors at the state competition in Virginia Beach.

If someone had asked me in eighth grade what clubs I thought I would be joining in high school, I would have told them I had no idea. I was part of the coding club for a while and bounced in and out of Model U.N. at Lunsford, but I never really saw any perks to going to these clubs other than the fact that it was time to hang out with my friends.

Fast forward to freshman year, when I chose to take Intro to Business and Marketing. It honestly wasn’t something I had planned on doing, but since I wasn’t good at art, or choir or band and didn’t really want to take Tech Ed, I chose it. Being in a marketing class gave me access to a club that I had never heard of before, which was DECA. And over the past three years, DECA has become a major part of my school career that has allowed me to travel around the country and gain valuable life skills. Sophomore year, I couldn’t take a marketing class because of scheduling conflicts, so I joined FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), which has some pretty great benefits and real-world learning experiences as well. Here’s five reasons you should join a business or marketing club if you have the time or even the slightest hint of interest:

1. Business Clubs catapult you into the professional world.

Both FBLA and DECA are competition based clubs. In these competitions, one must learn how to present, communicate, and lead a company or business. In addition, at these competitions, one must dress professionally and learn the basics of professional communication such as a strong handshake, eye contact and more. These skills come in handy when it comes time to get your first job or even interview for an officer position at school, and they can be gained through your business club experiences. They also help you learn about Marketing, Economics, Business Management and can spark new interests in different business-oriented careers paths.

2. You get to travel!

Assuming you take on the competition aspects of these business clubs, both allow you to travel. I personally have gone to Anaheim, California and Virginia Beach for DECA Internationals and state competitions in the past. FBLA Nationals is being held in San Antonio, Texas this year and DECA Internationals is in Orlando, Florida. Business clubs allow you to experience all these new locations and make memories with your fellow club members.

3. You get to meet some pretty awesome people.

When I traveled to Anaheim for DECA, I took part in a leadership academy called THRIVE. There, students from around the country gathered for a conference where we learned leadership skills as well as DECA competitive skills, heard from speakers and entrepreneurs from across the world and participated in presentations as well as challenges with a team. My team was made up of two students from Washington state, one from California, one from Michigan, one from Connecticut, and another from Wisconsin. Over the week, we all got closer, challenged each other, and got to hear the perspectives and ideas of people who had grown up in different environments. I’m still close with many of these students today! You never know when you could be talking to the next great entrepreneur, the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

4. It helps with your academics, honestly.

I know that taking on another club might not seem like the best idea for everyone, especially for many of us who do multiple sports and clubs. But, the skills that you pick up through business clubs held translate into school! Because of my FBLA event, in which I had to make and present a PowerPoint on a topic, I now know how to properly format a Google Slides and PowerPoint presentation, how to make it eye-catching, and how to make it as easy to read as possible. This has helped me create different visuals for different projects in my Spanish, math and history classes. In my DECA event, I have to propose a business plan in response to a critical situation after only getting to read about the situation for 10 minutes. This has helped me with my critical thinking skills, my ability to work under pressure, and my public speaking. These are all skills that can be applied to presentations–particularly group presentations and projects–at school. And, because these business clubs are widely known throughout the country, they’ll look good on your college applications. Colleges will see you as valuable because they know you have that professional experience and the valuable skills that can be learned in a business club.

5. And above all else, it’s fun!

Some of my greatest memories have been made at the state or national conferences with my fellow DECA and FBLA members. When not competing at conferences, you get to experience local foods, shop around town, and just hang out in a new city with your friends. At school, you get to take part in events such as the canned food drive and the Gold Rush games which give back to the community. If you’re in DECA, you get to help run the cookie cart. For FBLA, you can help out with the selling and distribution of candy grams. You get to interact with fellow club members and officers and make new connections and talk to students and teachers that you may have never interacted with before. Like I said earlier, I didn’t do DECA my sophomore year because of scheduling issues, but my junior year I made sure I was taking a marketing class because I wanted to come back to DECA. I wanted to do FBLA.

So, if you’ve got extra space in your schedule next year, why not take a marketing class so you can join DECA? If you’re in Journalism, Personal Finance, Economics, Cyber-security or Computer Science, there are events for these subjects in FBLA. Joining a business club will help prepare you for the real world as well as supply you with opportunities to lead within your school chapter and the entire community. There are so many benefits to business clubs, and you won’t regret joining one.

If you would like more information on any business clubs, check out @FHSEAGLESDECA and @FBLA__FHS on Twitter or talk to one of the business/marketing teachers such as Mr. Murray, Mrs. Heavener, Mrs. Rosenzweig or Mrs. Frey!



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