SCDC 2020

Santa Clara, California — From Friday, February 28th to Monday, March 2nd, 2020, a record high attendance of almost 150 students from The Harker School DECA Chapter traveled to the Santa Clara Marriott to compete in the 2020 State Career Development Conference (SCDC). Harker DECA performed admirably, with 67 teams as Overall Finalists and 21 Top Four winners. 

“I’m very proud of the Harker DECA chapter, and it was amazing to see how excited the students were about their events after months of preparation,” said Phil Han (12), Co-Chief Executive Officer, 1st in Project Management Sales and 3rd in Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making. “The fruits of their efforts really paid off, and I couldn’t be more excited to see how the chapter performs in Nashville! The conference was a big success competitively, and I think that our chapter’s achievements inspired attendees to continue their DECA careers.” 

Members placing in top ten are as follows: 

1st Place 

  • Phil Han, Sidharth Dudyala, Ronit Gagneja (12); Chapter Team Sales Project
  • Aditya Singhvi (11), Rishi Dange, Evan Cheng (12); Integrated Marketing Campaign
  • Armaan Thakker (9); Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
  • Indigo Lee (9); Principles of Marketing
  • Claire Luo (11); Business Finance Series
  • Jason Hoang (11); Business Services Marketing Series
  • Nikhil Sharma (12); Entrepreneurship Series
  • Emily Tan, Emily Zhou (10); Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making

2nd Place 

  • Mahi Kolla (12); Entrepreneurship Series
  • Jason Hoang, Karan Bhasin (11); Integrated Marketing Campaign
  • Anika Muddu (9); Principles of Business Management and Administration
  • Rishi Dange (12); Accounting Applications Series
  • Aditi Bharti, Sarina Sharma (11); Marketing Management Team Decision Making
  • Sasvath Ramachandran (10); Personal Financial Literacy Event

3rd Place 

  • Phil Han, Sidharth Dudyala (12); Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making
  • Tuhin Chatterjee (11); Professional Selling Event
  • Anay Karwal (12); Automotive Services Marketing Series
  • Radhika Jain (12); Quick Service Restaurant Management Series

4th Place 

  • Sujith Pakala (10); Quick Service Restaurant Management Series
  • Karan Bhasin (11); Retail Merchandising Series
  • Allison Jia, Aditi Ghalsasi (12); Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making

5th Place 

  • Fonda Hu, Elaine Zhai (11); Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making
  • Emma Andrews, Cordelia Callaud-Guyart (11); Entrepreneurship Start-Up Business Plan
  • Naveen Mirapuri (12); Food Marketing Series
  • Dhruv Saoji (10); Hotel and Lodging Management Series
  • Fonda Hu, Anvitha Tummala (11); Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research
  • Sinaya Joshi (10); Marketing Communications Series
  • Lisa Barooah (11), Ishaan Chandra, Mahi Kolla (12); Project Management Career Development

6th Place 

  • Rishab Parthasarathy (10); Business Finance Series
  • Nikhil Devireddy, Rohan Gorti, Zain Vakath (9); Buying and Merchandising Operations Research
  • Evan Cheng (12); Business Services Marketing Series
  • Krish Maniar (9); Entrepreneurship Independent Business Plan
  • Nicholas Yi (11); Hotel and Lodging Management Series
  • Elvis Han, Melody Luo (10); Hospitality Services Team Decision Making
  • Sonya He, Austina Xu (9); Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research
  • April Sun (10); Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling Event
  • Aaron Lo (10); Principles of Finance
  • Rohan Gorti (9); Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
  • Anay Karwal (12), Elaine Zhai (11); Project Management Community Awareness
  • Ada Praun-Petrovic (9); Principles of Marketing

7th Place 

  • Ava Arasan, Anika Muddu, Amrita Pasupathy (9); Entrepreneurship Franchise Business Plan
  • Helen Zhu (11); Entrepreneurship Independent Business Plan
  • Gigi Chan (10); Food Marketing Series
  • Kevin Wang, Alex Zhang (10); Project Management Community Awareness
  • Vedant Kenkare, Dhruv Saoji (10); Project Management Career Development
  • Namrata Karra (9); Principles of Marketing

8th Place 

  • Andrea Thia (10); Entrepreneurship Business Growth Plan
  • Alivia Li, Vienna Parnell (10); Entrepreneurship Franchise Business Plan
  • Ishaan Parate (10); Entrepreneurship Individual Series
  • Rohan Varma, Bryan Zhang (11); Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making
  • Saavi Kumar (9); Principles of Business Management and Administration
  • Gwen Yang (9); Principles of Marketing
  • April Sun (10); Restaurant and Food Service Management Series

9th Place 

  • Aditya Singhvi (11); Business Finance Series
  • Claire Luo, Luisa Pan, Michelle Si (11); Entrepreneurship Franchise Business Plan
  • Bryan Zhang (11); Finance Operations Research
  • Alivia Li, Vienna Parnell (10); Hospitality Services Team Decision Making
  • Andrew Sun (11); Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling Event
  • Johnathan Mo (9); Principles of Marketing

10th Place 

  • Arin Jain, Armaan Thakker, Zeke Weng (9); Entrepreneurship Independent Business Plan
  • Jacqueline Au, Stephanie Shen (11); Buying and Merchandising Operations Research
  • Emma Andrews (11); Human Resources Management Series
  • Victoria Han, Catherine He (10); Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research
  • Ashley Gauba, Zoe Kister, Arya Tandon (11); Integrated Marketing Campaign
  • Vedant Kenkare (10); Marketing Communications Series
  • Leisha Devisetti (9); Sports and Entertainment Marketing Operations Research
  • Lisa Barooah, Anvitha Tummala (11); Sports and Entertainment Team Decision Making

On Friday at 12 PM, Harker DECA members and chaperones traveled by bus to the Santa Clara Marriott. Upon arrival, students were given time to study for the Competitive Event Testing Session, which began promptly at 4:00 PM. Afterwards, the students had the rest of the evening to relax or prepare for the roleplays the next day. 

Competitive events began early on Saturday morning at the Santa Clara Convention Center, and attendees utilized the leisure time before and between their events to practice and receive some last-minute feedback from their officers and mentors. 

After finishing their roleplay events, members were allowed the rest of the day to explore Santa Clara or stay in the hotel to prepare for their written event the next day. In the evening, the chapter reconvened to walk to the convention center for the Grand Opening Session at 7:30 PM, where keynote speaker Eddie Slowikowski talked about self-motivation, emphasizing the importance of creating and achieving tangible goals. 

Starting at 9 PM on Sunday morning, all participants competed in their respective written events until 3 PM, leaving the rest of the afternoon for free time to relax or catch up on homework. The chapter gathered again at 4 PM, and members had the option to either travel to Santa Clara Mercado or remain at the hotel for dinner. At 7 PM, the chapter reassembled for the Recognition Ceremony. In total, 75 teams staged for their roleplays and their testing scores in their events, a huge success for Harker DECA. 

All participants were required to attend two workshops throughout the weekend and participate in a multiple choice Protégé exam, with topics ranging from real estate to event planning. Many of our chapter’s competitors placed and were recognized on stage for their excellence in these tests. These students were Gigi Chan (10), Ishaan Parate (10), Linette Hoffman (9), Tina Zhong (10), Rishi Dange (12), Vedant Kenkare (10), Nikhil Sharma (12), N Wang (11), Clare Jin (9), William Chien (10), Vinay Sudarsanam (10), Andrew Sun (11), Victoria Han (10), Natasha Matta (10), Ava Arasan (9), Nicholas Yi (11), Clarice Wang (10), Simren Kochar (10), Krish Maniar (9), Cindy Su (10), Vishnu Jaisim (12), Stephanie Shen (11), Catherine He (10), Sinaya Joshi (10), Naveen Mirapuri (12), Aaron Lo (10), Rishab Parthasarathy (10), Jason Hoang (11), Sasvath Ramachandran (10), and Vedant Kenkare (10). Workshops covered topics from leadership to communication skills, and members were able to gain more experience and advice in business and entrepreneurship from seasoned professionals.

“I attended a workshop about self-branding and found that the way the speaker interacted with the audience really personalized the workshop experience,” said Clarice Wang (10), Harker DECA Director of Membership. “He explained simple and impactful tips about using marketing and presentation skills to find and create opportunities for yourself, and I’m excited to apply this new knowledge in my DECA career and academic life.” 

On Sunday morning at 8 AM, the Grand Awards began, and Harker DECA performed respectably, sending 67 teams to the stage. 

“This year's SCDC was extremely successful for the chapter, and I feel proud to have represented Harker DECA! I felt more prepared and ready to compete than before, especially because I was participating in the same events as my previous year,” said Sasvath Ramachandran (10), 2nd in Personal Financial Literacy Event. “The confidence boost from doing well on my exams really carried through into my roleplay and presentation, and hopefully ICDC can go just as well!”

In preparation for States, Harker DECA held weekly study sessions in the Innovation Center, where students were able to practice their roleplays in front of an officer, receive live feedback for their written events, and take mock exams to hone their skills and perform to the best of their capabilities. 

“The amount of hard work and dedication my team and I put into our projects paid off,” said Armaan Thakker (9), 1st in Principles of Hospitality and Tourism and 10th in Entrepreneurship Independent Business Plan. “The conference was a fun and rewarding experience, and I would definitely do it again.”

Overall, the 2020 SCDC was a rewarding experience for all Harker DECA competitors and officers. Chapter members gained valuable skills and feedback to apply as they continue their DECA journey at ICDC or during the next competitive season. 

To prepare for the International Career Development Conference in April, Harker DECA will hold individual practice presentations with advisor Juston Glass. This year, the conference will be hosted in Nashville, Tennessee, and our chapter will have the opportunity to face strong competitors from all across the world! Stay tuned for more updates about ICDC in May. 

“This conference was a great ending to the 2019-2020 competitive season,” said Juston Glass, Harker DECA Chapter Advisor. “Our members’ hard work truly paid off and I am excited to see where their new skills and accomplishments take them. Congratulations to our winners and go Harker DECA!”