DECA rises in stock market match

Student finalists place in national competition


DECA members and stock market game finalists Zach Zaharias and Evan Hoier.

Kali Anditon, Business & Technology Editor

For an organization that revolves around traveling and competition, a global pandemic can really put a stopper on things. but although their fall semester was lacking in events, Whitewater’s Collegiate DECA chapter is picking up speed for the spring ahead.  

A competition that was held in the fall and is especially relevant today was round one of the stock market game, an online competition in which members manage a virtual stock portfolio, with the goal of increasing its value. Two students represented the Whitewater campus by placing as finalists at the national level.  

Public policy and administration major Evan Hoier and marketing major Zach Zaharias placed eighth and fourth respectively in this iteration of the game. Thanks to this simulation, members can gain a better understanding of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. 

“Getting the fourth place in the stock market game is probably one of my proudest moments,” says Zaharias. “I was actually towards the bottom in the beginning, and I checked it in late October and realized, ‘Oh, I’m doing really well, I should take this more seriously.’ I play the stock market in real life, and I am not as gutsy as I am in the game.”  

Rather than using real money, Zaharias uses the game and its imaginary $100,000 to test stocks that he “is on the fence” about, which ultimately rewarded him with a high placing. A new round of the stock market game began Jan. 25 and will be one of the competitions that DECA offers this spring.  

“We are really excited to place even higher at the second round of the game,” says Hoier. “I joined DECA as a way to get involved at UW-W, and it has helped me keep everything in perspective in a business sense. It’s a great marketing tool to put on my resume, and even though it’s still early in my collegiate DECA career, I’m excited to see what it brings.” 

Alongside the stock market game, DECA members are also deciding on events for their state competition. These events include individual or partner case studies and prepared events. The case study involves being assigned a random case study during the competition and having 30 minutes to prepare to present in front of a judge. Prepared events, however, allow members to prepare presentations ahead of time.  

Whether it be prepared or a classic case study event, each competition is set within a career cluster, including marketing, entrepreneurship and finance, among others.

“Our main thing for this semester is our competitions,” says the president of Whitewater’s chapter of Collegiate DECA Treise Langhammer. “Our fall semester is more to get to know everyone, and our spring is trying to get medals and honors. Because of that, the only awards we have this year are our two stock market placings, and then we’ll hopefully have some more at state at the end of March.” 

Due to the ongoing pandemic, DECA is unable to compete for these awards in person. The state competition will be held virtually, but COVID-19 has impacted the timeline of getting information out to DECA’s members.  

“My team and I will be hosting the Virtual Spring Conference,” says state president for the Wisconsin Association of Collegiate DECA Devontae Sisk. “We have formed a committee that is helping develop the look and feel of our state competition, preparing a new virtual experience geared towards our members.” 

The pandemic will not stop this chapter’s success and competition this spring. The accomplishments of Evan Hoier and Zach Zaharias is only the beginning of their competition season.  

For more information on Whitewater’s DECA chapter, visit