A summary of Harker DECA's experience at ICDC 2023!
Anaheim, California -- From Thursday, February 24th, 2022, to Sunday, February 27th, 2022, the Harker DECA Chapter participated in the California DECA State Career Development Conference (SCDC). With hopes of qualifying to the International Career Development Conference (ICDC), over 120 chapter members attended. Throughout the four days, participants took exams, presented their written and roleplays, and created new friendships. Harker DECA performed exceptionally, with 62 teams placing as Top 10 Finalists, 20 of which becoming Top 3 Finalists.
“This year’s SCDC was a huge success, and it couldn’t have happened without all of our students, officers, chaperones, faculty, and parents enthusiastically supporting the first in-person conference in two years! One of my favorite parts of these overnight conferences is the opportunity for attendees to be independent, and I was very impressed by the responsibility of our students; it made the weekend that much more seamless and enjoyable. None of these attendees should feel discouraged if they didn’t stage in their events because this is by far the most outstanding group I’ve ever seen, and I know that they will all get their magical moments soon!” said Gigi Chan (12), Co-Chief Executive Officer.
On Thursday morning, attendees arrived at the San Jose Airport to travel to Anaheim. Everyone convened at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel after taking a shuttle from the airport, and took the remaining time to get lunch before settling down in their hotel rooms. Throughout the afternoon, competitors took their respective cluster exams for each event and attended at least one of the three hosted professional development workshops. One workshop held was “Who Are You?” led by Catherine Horton-Harding, the former president of DECA’s High School Division, which helped attendees discover their leadership style through a variety of exercises and activities.
Soon after, all attendees met up for a chapter meeting, where the Co-Chief Executive Officer Clarice Wang (12) and Chapter Advisor Juston Glass briefed attendees on the weekend’s schedule, COVID-19 rules, and guidelines for the weekend.
That night, the chapter attended the Opening Ceremony presented by Team 71, California DECA’s state officer team. With over a dozen chapters cheering in the large ballroom, the conference kickoff was about to begin. The state officers praised California DECA’s resilience in the past year’s difficulties and, in the spirit of this year’s theme of “maximizing our momentum,” encouraged everyone to make the best of this conference experience. Next, the attendees gave a warm welcome to keynote speaker Jordon Sharp, the owner and CEO of Sharp Brand Management. Sharp delivered a motivational speech about techniques to improve personal branding and the importance of personal and professional relationships. The Harker DECA Chapter also received awards for a Gold Level Chapter Awards Campaign, and Thrive Level Membership, Community Service, Membership, and Promotional campaigns.
“It was really refreshing to be back at an in-person conference, especially after last year’s online events. One of the best parts was at the Mini Awards Ceremony: Harker swept nearly all of the protègè exams events, and it was great seeing so many of our members on stage. Harker DECA is much more involved and successful than ever and I’m so proud of every one of us!” said Anika Muddu (11), Vice President of Competitions and Strategy.
Friday kicked off with roleplay events, where competitors presented to a live judge in their respective events: Team Decision Making, Individual Series, Personal Financial Literacy, and Principles. In between their scheduled competition times, students participated in workshops and took protègè exams, which quizzed attendees on specific aspects of business and entrepreneurship, from investing to green business management. A number of Harker DECA chapter members were recognized for their performance, including: Marcus Blennemann (9), Cynthia Wang (10), Claire Cheng (9), Gianna Chan (12), Bodhi Saha (12), Chloe Lee (10), Grace Hoang (11), Mariana Ryder (10), Chenkai Hong (9), Rohit Yalla (9), Hanyang Shang (9), Anjali Yamasani (12), Catherine He (12), Kaden Kapadia (12), Nelson Gou (9), Alex Zhong (9), Evan Zau (12), Syna Gogte (12), Annmaria Antony (11), Kaitlyn Wang (10), Tanisha Singh (10), Amit Karoshi (10), Emily Mitnick (9), Melody Luo (12), Victoria Han (12), Divya Venkat (10), Metrica Shi (10), Bowen Xia (9), Jonathan Wang (9), Rohan Gorti (11), Zain Vakath (11), Charlize Wang (9), Audrey Cheng (9), Emily Zhou (12), Shiven Balaji (9), Trisha Variyar (11), Aishani Singh (9), Sanaa Bhorkar (9), Andrea Thia (12), Khanlinh Tran (9), Saahira Dayal (9), and Veer Sahasi (9).
Later that day, students took advantage of the free time to explore Anaheim, prepare for the next day’s competitive events, or even visit Disneyland with friends.
“The conference was a super fun experience overall, and I especially enjoyed the Disneyland trip. It was great to be able to spend time with my friends and bond with the chapter,” said attendee Heidi Lu (10).
On Saturday, attendees participated in their written event competitions and attended workshops. They also had opportunities to get lunch, catch up with friends in their hotel rooms, and complete homework before heading to the Mini Awards Ceremony in the evening. Mentors and officers of the Harker DECA Chapter also attended the Harker DECA Mentor Retreat (HDMR), which was held at Bowlero at Anaheim Garden Walk. After the mentors finished bowling, HDMR concluded with Chapter Advisor Juston Glass’ thanking the mentors for their hard work throughout the past year.
During the Mini Awards Ceremony, over 60 Harker DECA teams were called up onto the stage in recognition of their exemplary performance in roleplays, testing, and presentations.
The next morning, students attended the Grand Awards Ceremony, where the Top 10 Finalists for every event were acknowledged. Those who ranked in the top 5 for roleplay events and top 4 for writtens events qualified for the 2022 International Career Development Conference, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia.
“The entire weekend was amazing and winning first and third place was surreal! The competing process was stressful at times, but it was also fun just presenting my roleplay and written. I had prepared for the entire week before SCDC with my mentor and alumni coach, so I was feeling really confident heading into competition,” said attendee Sanaa Bhorkar, who placed 1st in Principles of Business Management and Administration and 3rd in Professional Selling Event. “The judges were involved throughout and were nice and supportive, and I found their feedback extremely helpful! I can’t wait to compete at ICDC and represent Harker DECA!!”
Following the Grand Awards Ceremony, California DECA held a short meeting regarding logistics and plans for the International Career Development Conference, and attendees packed up and headed to the airport to finish off the 2022 State Career Development Conference.
“SCDC was a great experience for all of our attendees, and I’m so proud of everyone for being so competitively successful and maximizing their momentum. The conference was a great end to the 2021-2022 competitive season, and I’m looking forward to ICDC!” said Mr. Glass, Chapter Advisor.
Members placing in the Top 10 are as follows:
- Elvis Han, Melody Luo (12), Marketing Management Team Decision Making
- Sanaa Bhorkar (9), Principles of Business Management and Administration
- Sujith Pakala (12), Quick Serve Restaurant Management Individual Series
- Medha Yarlagadda (10), Restaurant and Food Service Management Individual Series
- Andrea Thia (12), Business Growth Plan
- Annmaria Antony, Grace Hoang (11), Independent Business Plan
- Indigo Lee (11), Start-Up Business Plan
- Emily Tan, Emily Zhou (12), Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making
- Arin Jain (11), Human Resources Management Individual Series
- Medha Yarlagadda, Meishin Yen (10), Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research
- Lexi Nishimura (11), Marketing Communications Individual Series
- Rohan Gorti (11), Retail Merchandising Individual Series
- Carey Chang, Heidi Lu, Metrica Shi (10), Franchise Business Plan
- Ariana Gauba, Bahar Sodeifi, Shaila Tandon (9), Innovation Plan
- Emily Mitnick (9), Start-Up Business Plan
- Valerie Li (9), Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research and Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
- Elvis Han, Melody Luo (12), Integrated Marketing Campaign - Service
- Ada Praun-Petrovic (11), Marketing Communication Individual Series
- Sanaa Bhorkar (9), Professional Selling Event
- Ananya Bammi, Saavi Kumar (11), Finance Operations Research
- Victoria Han, Catherine He (12), International Business Plan
- Shiven Balaji (9), Integrated Marketing Campaign - Product
- Nikhil Devireddy (11), Marketing Communications Individual Series
- Saahira Dayal (9), Principles of Business Management and Administration
- Sasvath Ramachandran (12), Personal Financial Literacy
- Sujith Pakala (12), Professional Selling Event
- Shreeya Merchia (10), Anika Muddu (11), Sports and Entertainment Operations Research
- Sathvik Chundru (10), Business Finance Series
- Andrew Au, Edward Huang (10), Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making
- Anjali Yamasani (12), Hotel and Lodging Management Individual Series
- Clarice Wang (12), Human Resources Management Individual Series
- Annmaria Antony, Grace Hoang (11), Marketing Management Team Decision Making
- Maya Affaki (9), Principles of Business Management and Administration
- Zain Vakath (11), Restaurant and Food Service Management Individual Series
- Kaden Kapadia, Bodhi Saha (12), Sports and Entertainment Marketing Team Decision Making
- Nikhil Devireddy, Rohan Gorti, Zain Vakath (11), Buying and Merchandising Operations Research
- Tanisha Singh (10), Financial Consulting Event
- Chloe Lee, Cynthia Wang, Kaitlyn Wang (10), Integrated Marketing Campaign - Event
- Harrison Chen (9), Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
- Namrata Karra (11), Quick Serve Restaurant Management
- Claire Luo (10), Business Services Marketing Individual Series
- Shreeya Merchia, Cynthia Wang (10), Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making
- Arin Jain, Armaan Thakker, Zeke Weng (11), Independent Business Plan
- Kaden Kapadia, Bodhi Saha (12), Integrated Marketing Campaign - Event
- Lauren Lin, Cindy Yu (9), Integrated Marketing Campaign - Service
- Chloe Lee, Kaitlyn Wang (10), Marketing Management Team Decision Making
- Leisha Devisetti (11), Sports and Entertainment Operations Research
- Victoria Han, Catherine He (12), Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making
- Gianna Chan, Clarice Wang (12), Buying and Merchandising Operations Research
- Indigo Lee (11), Business Services Marketing Individual Series
- Saahira Dayal (9), Franchise Business Plan
- Claire Luo (10), Integrated Marketing Campaign - Product
- Keren Eisenberg (9), Principles of Business Management and Administration
- Marcus Blennemann (9), Principles of Finance
- Daniel Chen, Jonathan Xue, Alex Zhong (9), Integrated Marketing Campaign - Product
- Gabe Li (9), Principles of Marketing
- Tej Aswani, Rahul Yalla, Jason Yi (9), Sports and Entertainment Operations Research
- Gia Emelie (9), Start-Up Business Plan
- Ananya Bammi, Saavi Kumar (11), Financial Services Team Decision Making
- Sahngwie Yim (9), Principles of Business Management and Administration
- Shiven Balaji (9), Principles of Marketing