A summary of Harker DECA's experience at ICDC 2023!
San Jose, California - From April 12th to May 6th, Harker DECA Members competed virtually in the annual International Career Development Conference (ICDC). With 46 competitors and two first place champions, Harker DECA had the best ICDC results in chapter history. An exceptional 12 finalists placed in the top 20 for the preliminary round. Out of those 12, 8 finalists were in the top ten final round.
“ICDC and just DECA in general are both very exciting. It allowed not just my team but the entire DECA community to come closer together. I am looking forward to another DECA season,” said Armaan Thakker (10).
This year, Harker DECA introduced the DECA Alumni Coaches program to help students excel in their competitions. The officer team reached out to several competitively successful alumni and former officers including Aditi Ghalsasi ‘20, Mahi Kolla ‘20, Lucas Wang ‘17, Evan Cheng ‘20, Shania Wang ‘19, Riya Gupta ‘19, Rishi Dange ‘20, Radhika Jain ‘20, and Phil Han ‘20. Many of the alumni continued their education at top universities such as University of Southern California, New York University, and University of Pennsylvania. Each alumni was assigned to a competitive team and was required to meet with them at least three times to prepare for their competitions. Overall the inaugural program dramatically improved the success of Harker DECA’s competitors this year at ICDC.
“I think one of the biggest factors that contributed to how far we got at ICDC was the fact that we had an alumni, Radhika, as our mentor. It was even more special for us personally because she had mentored us in her junior and senior year, so it was great to be able to work with her again. Even though we only met four times for about an hour each, her feedback was so helpful, and we could actually feel ourselves improving each time. I definitely feel like Emily and I wouldn’t have been able to get as far as we did without the alumni mentorship program,” said Emily Tan (11).
Due to the pandemic, ICDC was held virtually this year. For the preliminary round, competitors were asked to submit their presentations in video form to a portal. However, for the final round of competitions, members joined a Zoom call with a judge to perform their presentations live.
“ICDC was an incredible experience, and we were so excited to represent Harker during the final round of competition. Our previous rounds were recorded videos, so being able to present a live presentation in front of a judge was a thrilling experience, especially since this was our first year competing in DECA,” said Annmaria Antony (10).
Despite most of the conference being online, Harker DECA hosted a viewing party of the Grand Awards session on May 6th. Members were invited to the Innovation Center on the Upper School campus to watch the livestream of the ceremony and were given an opportunity to socialize with their peers in person. They enjoyed snacks while watching and Chipotle for dinner. This event emulated an in person conference experience and allowed competitors to celebrate their wins together as a chapter.
Regardless of obstacles that came with competing online, members had a thrilling and enriching experience participating in ICDC. Congratulations to all of our competitors!
“These students put in countless hours and battled out seemingly endless obstacles and levels of competition to get to this point. I am so very proud of our unprecedented year resulting in not just one but TWO international champion teams. We had the most successful year to date for our chapter and I can’t be more proud of our Harker DECA Eagles, officer team, and student mentors for all of the effort, time, grit, and passion they demonstrated throughout the year. Go Eagles!” said Juston Glass, Harker DECA Chapter Advisor.
Finalists are as follows:
- Sasvath Ramachandran (11); Virtual Business Challenge - Accounting
- Andrew Sun (12), Aditya Singhvi (12); Hospitality Services Team Decision Making
Top 10 Finalists:
- Grace Hoang (10), Annmaria Antony (10);
- Shreeya Merchia (9), Cynthia Wang (9); Integrated Marketing Campaign Event
Top 20 Finalists:
- Arin Jain (10), Zeke Weng (10), Armaan Thakker (10); Independent Business Plan
- Harshini Chaturvedula (9), Jasmine Ishikawa (9), Anjali Yella (9); Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan
- Jason Hoang (12); Business Services Marketing Series
- Vienna Parnell (11); Hotel and Lodging Management Series
- Sara Wan (10); Human Resources Management Series
- Ada Praun-Petrovic (10); Marketing Communications Series
- April Sun (11); Restaurant and Food Service Management Series
- Bryan Zhang (12); Sports and Entertainment Marketing Series
- Emily Tan (11), Emily Zhou (11); Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making
- Catherine He (11), Han (11); Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making
- Claire Luo (9); Principles of Hospitality and Tourism