Moffat County High School student prepares for DECA national competition
April 12, 2018
CRAIG — Small town ingenuity is the key to success, according to a business student who will represent the Moffat County High School DECA team at the national competition later this month.
"Rural kids have learned to problem solve and be creative," said Brianna Burkett, a high school junior and DECA national tournament qualifier.
Burkett qualified in the Business Services event during the state meet, held Feb. 24 through 27 in Colorado Springs.
"Brianna excels in public speaking and confidence in her events," said Krista Schenck, business, marketing and technology teacher and advisor for DECA and Future Business Leaders of America.
This is Burkett's second year in DECA, and she serves as the team's vice president. This was her first year competing in the Business Services category.
"Because I had never done the event, I was shocked to make state. DECA does awards late in the afternoon, so the team left prior to the awards ceremony. Finding out was a surprise," she said.
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She attributes her win to the experience she's gained helping her parents run their business.
Burkett is joining 15 of her classmates at the FBLA state tournament April 10 through 20 in Vail, before traveling to the national DECA April 21 through 25 in Atlanta.
"These competitions give students to opportunity to network, learn about leadership, enhance their public speaking skills and learn from and with some of the greatest business minds of our country," Schenck said.
Moffat County DECA and FBLA members were able to spend time with the CEO of Einstein Bros. Bagels earlier this year.
"It opened our eyes to opportunities," Burkett said. "MCHS DECA and FBLA give you more opportunities because of what the competitions are like. I don't think a lot of kids realize how much business is in our day-to-day lives. They offer an insight on how life will be."
Every DECA competition begins with a 100-question, multiple-choice test that gives each competitor an initial score, which is combined with additional deliverables. In Burkett's event, she must create business solutions during two role-playing scenarios. At the state competition, she was asked to help a car wash company expand.
"At first, I was thinking, ‘That's a city problem.’ The scenario wasn't relatable," she recalled.
She spent 10 minutes preparing and came up with a winning solution.
"I recommended we purchase the lot (next to the car wash) and make it into an Uber. Then, advertise the car wash on the side of the Uber vehicles and also create steady income from cleaning the Uber vehicles."
Burkett is able to travel to the national tournament thanks to community support provided by area businesses, including Mountain West Insurance, US Tractor and Harvest, Bear Creek Animal Hospital, Moffat County Cattlewomen, H & R Block, Solutions Oriented Systems and several business women and men.
"The community has given me so much support, helping me to fundraise to get there. If I hadn't had those, there's no way I'd be attending," she said.
Burkett has aspirations of a career in agri-business and believes if "you pick what you want to go into, then the job will pick you."
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.