On the heels of multiple recent competitions and events, the Foothill DECA team are set to cut loose and host their annual talent show featuring both students and staff members next week
"The annual Foothill DECA Talent Show is a community event, and, this year, it will be entirely virtual," team communications director Vishnu Nair told the Weekly. "Some of the fun events include acts from students and teachers, a pie toss opportunity, and the theme is 'DECA's Got Talent', based off the popular TV show 'America's Got Talent'."
A "charitable component" is also part of the virtual event next Tuesday, where Nair said there will be opportunities for attendees to donate to local nonprofit organizations. The show will also be a brief reprieve before returning to the pressures of academic and professional competitions and presentations.
Recently, more than 75 business professionals and 130 students including Foothill DECA members assembled virtually as part of an annual mock interview program in collaboration with the Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation. The program allowed students in Foothill's regional occupational program business classes -- including several marketing and economics specializations -- to interact with and learn from established professionals.
The 20-minute virtual interviews covered opening pitches, standard questions, and interviewer feedback to help students learn how to conduct solid interviews and improve in the future.
Team vice president of membership development Kelsey Lem "had the honor of organizing the virtual mock interviews this year," and called it " a rewarding experience for both the students and interviewers and I am so grateful to be involved."
The city of Pleasanton as well as local companies Workday and Oracle were also involved in setting up the program.
PPIE Executive Director Steve McCoy Thompson said, "This is one of our favorite programs every year. The Foothill DECA team does an outstanding job with preparation and both the students and business professionals get a lot out of their engagement."
Before the interviews, Foothill teachers Tami Raaker and Debbie Nelson coached students in preparing resumes, writing opening pitches, and rehearing for common interview questions. More experienced students developed career portfolios and websites to further enhance and show off their skills.
"I always look forward to the mock interviews as it allows my DECA leadership team to serve as project managers to plan and execute the event," Raaker said. "It also gives my students an opportunity to gain real world experience and help prepare them for their career path."
Later this month, ten students will represent Foothill at the International Career Development Conference, which starts on April 19 and continues through May 6. The students originally qualified during the State Career Development Conference last month, where the team cinched 83 awards overall, including top 10 in role play and written events, and showed off their core planning, presentation and career skills.
Industry-validated cluster exams, role play presentations and long-term written business plans shared by the students underwent a ten day judging period. The Foothill DECA team was ultimately recognized out of more than 900 students statewide, and also received awards for community service, outreach and leadership development events such as Gold Level recognition in the Chapter Awards Program and THRIVE Level in its Chapter campaigns.
DECA vice president of chapter management Jason Yu and teammate Michael Zong qualified for last month's event through the Stock Market Game, their written plan and role play. Though it was an "interesting experience" that "required a lot of adapting," Zong said he was able to put together a successful event with director of training Emma Lin, adding he was "glad that a lot of competitors were able to do well."
Chief financial officer Angel Chen called the state conference "a great experience, giving us all an opportunity to demonstrate the business skills we've gained."
"It was so exciting to see our chapter's hard work pay off, through both our chapter campaigns and competition," Chen said. "As a senior, I'm very grateful for the life lessons I've learned in DECA, and for the memories and friends I've made along my DECA journey."
The students advancing to the DECA International Career Development Conference are Dylan Chidambaram, Kate Clifford, Mirra Kannappan, Kelsey Lem, Emma Lin, Annalise Mui, Vishnu Nair, Anushri Roy, Jason Yu and Michael Zong.
The annual Foothill DECA Talent Show will be on Tuesday (April 13) from 7-9 p.m. The online event is free and includes acts by students, teachers and community members. To sign up, visit bit.ly/fdtalentshow.