OHS DECA represents at an international conference


Eight OHS students attended the DECA International Career Development Conference

Anna Keltto, Writer

Eight Owatonna High School seniors attended the DECA International Career Development Conference from April 22 to 26 in Nashville, Tenn. DECA is a business club that aims to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. Advisor Scott Pierce attended the conference and said, “The International Career Development Conference was a great experience for the eight DECA members. They interacted with and competed against the best business students in North America. It was a memorable and learning experience.” The five-day international conference consisted of not only competing, but also the chance to network with students from all across the country and the world.

After advancing from both the district and state competition, Lydia Anez and Riley Arthur competed in the marketing decision making team role play, while Brady Ruiter, Karissa Hilstad and Anna Keltto presented their Learn and Earn event. Hilstad said, “Competing at the international DECA competition was very different than the district and state level. It was crazy to think that so many other students were there doing the same thing. It was pretty nerve racking.” However, she says that the nerves were well worth it. “The entire experience was awesome. The ceremony at Bridgestone Arena was the coolest DECA experience I’ve had.” Alex Emanuelson, Brooke Otterson and Laura Bloomenrader attended the Thrive Leadership Academy. Emanuelson said, “It helped me by working on my networking skills and meeting new people.” All eight students were able to further develop their skills at the conference.

Although business came first, the conference was also filled with fun attractions for the 120,000 students that attended. The group attended a concert at the Grand Ole Opry, a Nashville Sounds baseball game and had plenty of time to explore everything the city of Nashville has to offer. Ruiter and Emanuelson also ran in the DECA 5k Run.

Throughout the years, Owatonna DECA’s membership has grown tremendously. Owatonna DECA hopes to continue to send more students to the International Career Development Conference in the years to come.