By Bonnie Lei
Members of UNLV DECA were given the opportunity to compete in a Shark Tank-style competition hosted by UNLV DECA. Competitors were tasked with creating a brief marketing plan along with developing a pitch that would secure funds from investors to bring Kona Ice, a shave ice company, onto the UNLV campus. For teams that made it to the finals,the prizes included a $50 prize, an additional $50 for “The People’s Choice Award,” an extra $200 for the first place team, and a trip to attend a recording of The Voice.
Five teams were given one week to create and present their plan to a panel of judges. Of the five teams, three advanced to the final round. During preparation for the final round, the three teams had two days to improve and finalize their presentation and propose their business plan in front of a panel of judges and an audience of high school Nevada DECA members, who chose the recipient of “The People’s Choice Award.”
Andrea DeBrino, Christian Perez, Daniel Yankov Dinev, Olivia Crick, Bonnie Lei, Armandt Lance Sacramento, Rochelle Mae Ruiz, and April Carillo were invited to watch the recording of The Voice on August 11, 2015.
Ruiz, Lei, Sacramento, and DeBrino watched contestants of the Voice in the battle round compete to get into the next round. The contestants sang a song in pairs to battle against each other. One contestant in each pair had to impress their coach, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, Blake Shelton or Adam Levine, enough to move on to the next round. If the contestant was not chosen as the winner of the round, other coaches had the opportunity to steal the contestant. If no coach stole them, the contestant would go home.
In addition to watching the Voice, Ruiz, and Lei spent an extra day exploring Los Angeles, California with Nicholas and Randolph Huynh, UNLV DECA’s vice president of technology and president. Instead of booking a hotel room, they booked a room through Airbnb, a lodging rentals website, for the first time. Through the experience, they learned that hotel rooms are not the only method for living for a day.
The group explored Los Angeles and visited Santa Monica beach for a few hours before driving back to Las Vegas, Nevada.