"Take the challenge!" Connecticut High School Senior Says About DECA Virtual Business Challenge

by Jeff Rutherford

Nathaniel Larson, a senior at RHAM High School in Hebron, CT and a DECA member, almost missed out on the fun and competition of last year’s DECA Virtual Business Challenge. In fact, he missed the first round of the competition completely.

When Nate started his marketing class last year, his teacher mentioned joining DECA and the DECA Virtual Business Challenge. But, in addition to working a part-time job, Nate runs cross-country, and he didn’t think he could fit DECA or the Virtual Business Challenge into his busy schedule.

However, Nate started noticing his friends working on the first round of the DECA Virtual Business Challenge. Nate had used some of Knowledge Matters’ business sims before in his management/marketing class. He’d used portions of VB Sports, VB Retailing and VB person finance.

Nathaniel Larson, RHAM High School senior, DECA member

“I started looking at what my buddies were doing and it looked really neat,” Nate said.

Nate decided he wanted to join the Virtual Business Challenge after all, so he talked to his teacher and principal and registered for the challenge’s second round.

“The first week of the challenge I wasn’t hooked. I was just checking it out, trying to learn the sim,” Nate said. “The last week of the challenge I got crazy addicted. Long nights, long days. I even called out of work once.”

Nate spent the majority of the last week of the challenge working on the Virtual Business Restaurant challenge.

“I printed out every number and every play. I was trying to figure out. “What am I missing?” Even outside of the game, I was trying to put everything together.”

Nate estimated that he spent 50 hours working on the Virtual Business - Restaurant sim during the the last week of the challenge.

Nate’s hard work and “addiction” paid off. In the second round of last year’s Virtual Business Challenge Restaurant track, Nate placed 5th in the nation and 4th in the region.

What advice does Nate have for other DECA members thinking about joining this year’s Virtual Business Challenge? “Take the challenge!”

“Don’t not do the challenge because you’re thinking it’s boring. If you like competition, you should do it,” Nate said. “If you get frustrated with the number, you have to keep going. You’ll feel great in the end.”

Since Nate is a senior this year, he has another chance to compete in the DECA Virtual Business Challenge.

“I just signed up today for this year’s challenge,” Nate said.

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