March 5, 2024

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Joined DECA

Author: California DECA

Joining DECA is a truly life-changing experience. From exploring your interests and traveling the world to making new friends, DECA gives students a number of opportunities to grow and push themselves. Here’s what ten of our California DECA members said when asked about something they wish they knew before they joined DECA! 

“One thing I wish I knew before joining DECA was to stress less on competition, and enjoy the things you learn and the people you meet. If I knew that earlier, I would’ve enjoyed conferences a lot more, and propelled my abilities even more. My advice to people joining is to enjoy DECA for its intended purpose: To develop new skills and build networks and friendships; savor the memories.” – Abeer Saboo, Washington High School

“I wish I knew how big of an organization DECA is and how it brings people from near and far together. I’ve met some of my closest friends through DECA and met many others from different states that I couldn’t even imagine meeting before” – Anisha Madiraju, Amador Valley

“I wish I knew that a roleplay is not necessarily testing what you know, rather it focuses on what you pretend you know.” – Anjali Khanna, Mountain House High School

“I wish I knew how many opportunities DECA would provide me with, and how much of a connection that DECA members share within the DECA community. The camaraderie is unmatched by any other club I’ve been a part of. Had I known this, I would’ve joined DECA a lot sooner!” – Jacob Whitney, Del Lago Academy

“Before I joined DECA, I wish I knew that all the time spent dedicated to DECA and all the experiences would be immensely valuable. I wouldn’t expect to succeed right away; most people don’t. Being successful in competition requires not only strong business knowledge and accomplishments but also impressive personal and communication skills. These truly only come with time, so work on improvement, take advantage of leadership opportunities, and glass will follow!” – Jasir Baig, Martin Luther King High School

“The one thing I wish I knew before I joined DECA was the strength of the community. The amount of driven, fun, and accomplished people that I got to meet made the experience much more enjoyable and beneficial.” – Krish Vazirani, Lynbrook High School

“Becoming LinkedIn Savvy!! Since LinkedIn is the Instagram equivalent in business, I’ve learned how vital creating your platform early on has become. This is especially nice as you may stay professionally connected with fellow DECA students from across the state and nation!” – Makyla Cervantes, Granada Hills Charter High School

“Before joining DECA, I wish someone had emphasized how crucial every moment is. You don’t want to look back and think, ‘Oh, I could have done this or that,’ whether it’s enjoying yourself at conferences or preparing for your roleplay. I would encourage you to continue exploring as much as possible and to push yourself to do your best!” – Muskaan Agrawal, Quarry Lane School

“Before I joined DECA, I wish I’d known that the people you meet in this organization are the most down to earth and passionate individuals. There’s a specific energy in the air when you walk into a room of DECA students. If I’d told my younger self that she’d meet the best friends of her life in this club, she’d have joined much sooner.” – Nikki Hekmat, Del Norte High School

“I wish I knew that DECA isn’t just about content. Instead, it is about your business knowledge, speaking creativity, and ability to think logically on the spot.” – Shivank Dhamija, Monta Vista High School

We would like to extend a huge “thank you” to all of our incredible leaders who shared their experiences with us! These ten individuals have truly experienced the DECA Difference, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish next!

About California DECA
California DECA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Career and Technical Student Organization, endorsed by the California Department of Education. With over 4,500 members in 59 schools throughout California, California DECA works to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in four fields of business: marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. For more information about California DECA, visit


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