November 2019
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

DECA Team from Holy Angels Finishes First in State Competition

Demarest, NJ: Two business-minded juniors from the Academy of the Holy Angels have won the state level Distributive Education Clubs of America Virtual Business Challenge in hotel management. Tamara Kim of Demarest and Emily Nam of Cresskill spent nearly two weeks running the daily operations of a virtual hotel.

AHA business teacher and DECA Club Moderator Krystal Hermanns said Kim and Nam will now continue to a second round of competition in January 2020.

Hermanns explained that competitors in the VBC online event must build their business from ground up.

“For their business, Emily and Tamara had to manage the front desk, upward of 500 rooms, the hotel banquet area, and the hotel restaurant,” Hermanns noted. She said the students were in charge of hiring virtual workers, creating employee schedules, booking hotel events, scheduling room blocks, setting daily room rates, planning the restaurant menu and prices, and everything else that comes with hotel management.

“The overall goal of this virtual challenge is to see what team from the state can make the most ‘profit’ from their virtual business. Emily and Tamara worked very hard over these 11 days to understand all of the ins and outs of the hotel business. The girls won first place in the State of New Jersey when the final results were announced! I am very excited for them!”

DECA hosts VBC events in seven categories, including accounting, fashion, personal finance, sports, and hotel management. In the hotel management category, the Angels finished first out of 13 New Jersey teams, eighth out of 79 North Atlantic teams, and 33rd out of 571 U.S. teams.

“We were anxious and excited to challenge our business skills through this virtual nationwide competition,” Kim and Nam said in a joint interview. “Knowing the complexities of managing such a large corporation, we anticipated the effort required to successfully manage the virtual hotel.

“We have to admit, it was very complicated at first,” they said, explaining that they realized how much detail was involved in the operation.

“We repeatedly attempted a variety of combinations of staffing, lodging, and marketing arrangements in order to create the most efficient business.

“We enjoyed working together on the hotel and sharing our experiences through each trial. The simulation limits usage to one team member at a time, so we had to plan when each member was to use it. Eventually, we configured a routine that allowed us to have an equal amount of time working with the hotel. Through this collaborative process, we were able to bounce ideas off each other and give advice on what did and did not work.

“It felt amazing to finish first in the state,” the teammates acknowledged. They added that they were pleased to witness their improvement throughout the event, and see that success reflected in their final rankings.

During the competition, the Angels learned that running a business requires meticulous attention to detail. Both students said they have an increased appreciation for anyone managing a business.

Nam and Kim recommend DECA to their classmates. This organization welcomes students who are interested in business, marketing, management, and entrepreneurship.

“With our shared interest in business, we felt that it was a great learning experience for this field. We became more informed in business administration tactics through the transactions in this virtual competition,” they explained.

This is the second year AHA has participated in DECA. This spring, several members of the Class of 2019 became AHA’s first to be inducted into the National Business Honor Society. Honorees included Nicolette Angelotti, Catherine Bagin, Madison Donohue, Jacklyn Kelly, Izabella King, Madison Mancha, and Sophia Nedelkoff.

AHA Principal Jean Miller recommends the Angels School of Business, which includes access to courses in economics and financial management. Students may also earn a “mini-MBA” at graduation. Prerequisites include an internship through Angels Advantage,

AHA’s alumnae-led mentoring program; completion of five business related academic courses, such as financial management, statistics, economics, and international studies; and participation in a relevant extracurricular activity, including DECA or Angels in Business, AHA’s stock market club.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.

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