A deeper dive into Jay Shah’s DECA career


Jay Shah

DECA participants pose for a team picture together at their state competition.

Jonny Tataje, Staff Writer

From long, grueling written tests to on-the-spot business presentations, Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) is no easy task. With the school year coming to an end, that only means one thing for DECA participants, nationals. This year, Fossil Ridge High School has had many successful business leaders that will attend nationals in Orlando, Florida, one of them being senior Jay Shah.

Shah has been a DECA member for all four years of his high school career and hopes to end his final year at DECA nationals by placing among the thousands of other national participants.

“So it would be great if we could place, it would be really great, but I’m not nervous,” Shah states his goal for nationals. 

Along with his partner, Micah Runtsch, Shah participates in the sports marketing category of DECA. Here, they take part in a few events. 

One of the events is called a manual. In this event, they are given the semester to write a ten to twenty page report that has to do with marketing. For their manual, they chose to help Fossil’s own Cup of Joe with marketing strategies. Once they finish the report, they then have to create a presentation to present in front of the judges at state.

The next event they participate in is essentially a business roleplay. In this event, they are given a scenario related to their category and are then given twenty-five minutes to prepare a presentation where they are required to hit many key points of the given scenario. It is essentially an on-the-fly speech. Shah and Runtsch excelled in this event achieving a 97/100 on their final roleplay.

“Me and Micah just have good chemistry together. Yeah, and we’re good at bouncing off each other and with twenty-five minutes to prepare, we are also good at writing down effective notes,” Shah says.

Shah and Runtsch posing with their award after a hard fought matchup at state. (Jay Shah)

The final, but probably least exciting, of the three events is the written test. This is a one hundred question test that is based on their category. The score of this test and the score of their roleplay are then combined to determine their final score.

Although Shah and Runtsch achieved outstanding scores overall, they came up short at state, placing second in their category. 

“I thought we had first, because we got like, out of one hundred we got a ninety-seven on our final roleplay, but that’s not it. You have to combine that with your test score too and so I think they beat us by only a couple points,” Shah says.

Shah is excited for nationals as it is his final year at DECA and he is able to spend that time in one of the most exciting places it can take place, Orlando. They will be gone for four days, but will not only be focused on the business side of it. They get the chance to spend a few days at Universal Studios to help ease their nerves. 

With nationals taking place at the end of next month, Shah is already ready to go in hopes of taking a high ranking place among the thousands of other elite business minds.