Students get down to business

Students in Oak Harbor High School’s DECA program are learning the basics that form the groundwork for a future in business.

And two earned some national recognition as well.

Sophomores Brittany Loveng and Arianna O’Dell performed so well at a state conference in early March that they earned a spot in the national competition, which takes place April 28 through May 3 in Dallas, Texas.

Loveng placed third out of 69 competitors in the “food marketing” category while O’Dell placed eighth out of 63 competitors in the “quick serve restaurant management” category.

During the state event, which took place March 2 to 5, Loveng and O’Dell participated in a three-part competition. They took a 100-question test and they were given two role-playing scenarios, which allowed 10 minutes per situation to research and present a solution to a panel of judges comprised of industry professionals.

For Loveng’s scenarios, she had to justify her layout of a supermarket and then show how to monitor and use internal records to help customers.

“I’m happy with how I performed,” Loveng said.

She decided to compete in food marketing because she said that competition seemed most interesting.

“I picked ones that I could relate with,” Loveng said.

For O’Dell’s scenarios, she had to describe how she would incorporate a new product mix into a fast food restaurant. Then she had a scenario where she had to use databases and come up with advertising ideas.

She decided on quick service restaurant management competition because she has some experience with such restaurants.

“Mr. Peterson (DECA instructor) suggested I should pick it because I have a job at McDonald’s,” she said.

Both students have other activities in addition to their DECA work.

Loveng participates in 4-H and Spanish Club, and she competes on the golf team and in club volleyball.

In addition to working at McDonald’s, O’Dell competes in junior varsity golf and participates in Key Club. She has been a Big Sister since the seventh grade.

Both girls plan to join National Honor Society and they also plan to work in the high school’s student store next school year.

The DECA program, along with scholarships from Coca-Cola and Safeway, are funding their trip to the national competition.

Twenty-five Oak Harbor students participated in the conference earlier in the month. While five other students placed in the top three in one of the parts of their individual competition, they didn’t place high enough to garner a spot at the national conference.

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