A summary of Harker DECA's experience at ICDC 2023!
Santa Clara, California -- From Friday, January 7th, 2022, to Sunday, January 9th, 2022, the Harker DECA Chapter participated in the Silicon Valley District Career Development Conference (SVCDC), the first competitive conference of the year. The transition back to the in-person environment sparked excitement in the community, as the event garnered over 120 signups. The weekend consisted of written and roleplay presentations in front of professional judges, networking opportunities, and motivational speeches from California DECA’s State Officer Team.
“It’s been two years since Harker DECA’s last in-person conference so I was both excited and nervous for SVCDC. Excited because the first-year and second-year DECA members finally get a proper conference experience, and nervous because there were a lot more moving components that we didn’t have to worry about online. But thanks to Mr. Glass, our chaperones, and the amazing officer team, we were able to pull off a smooth and successful district conference,” said Clarice Wang (12), Co-Chief Executive Officer.
On Friday, January 7th, students arrived at the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel at 1:00 PM. After the Harker DECA Officer Team surprised the attendees and chaperones with Jamba Juice drinks, members studied for the approaching competitive testing sessions before convening for the chapter meeting. During the meeting, Co-Chief Executive Officer Clarice Wang (12) briefed the students about the COVID-19 safety measures and other detailed logistics for the conference.
Afterwards, the testing sessions began at 3:00 PM. Each student took exams in their respective cluster: Marketing, Business Management and Administration, Finance, Hospitality and Tourism, or the Business Administration Core. Later that evening, SVCDC kicked off with the Opening Session in the Grand Ballroom. California DECA’s Vice President of Silicon Valley, Tim Jing, announced the theme of the year, “Maximize Your Momentum,” and encouraged all Silicon Valley DECA members to do so while at the conference. The Opening Session closed beautifully with a talent show featuring two acts from the Harker DECA Chapter. Chloe Lee (10), Kaitlyn Wang (10), and Anika Muddu (11) performed an acoustic version of “Gone” by Rosé, while Shreeya Merchia (10) sang a powerful rendition of “Red” by Taylor Swift.
The next morning, attendees arrived at the conference site at 7:45 AM, eager to compete in the roleplay and written events that they worked hard to prepare for. In the morning, the roleplays events began, which primarily consist of Team-Decision Making, Individual Series, Principles, and Personal Financial Literacy roleplays. Soon after, members competed in their written events where they gave 15-minute presentations in Entrepreneurship, Integrated Marketing Campaign, Professional Selling, or Business Operations Research categories. For the remainder of the afternoon, students socialized with friends and explored restaurants nearby.
“This year's conference was more interactive and exciting than last year's virtual events because we were able to experience their true competitive nature, meet new people, and spend time with our friends. We loved seeing everyone working hard towards their events, and it was great to build bonds with other DECA members and gain lots of competitive experience while still having a unique and enjoyable conference,” said second-year members Meishin Yen (10) and Medha Yarlagadda (10).
On Sunday morning, students filed into the Grand Ballroom for the Mini Awards Ceremony in nervous anticipation. The Mini Awards Ceremony recognized competitors who performed exceptionally well in the testing, roleplay, or presentation subcategories of their events.
“I honestly was so shocked when I received the awards, but I was extremely happy that my hard work paid off and I was able to perform well in my events. In the end it was a great and thrilling experience,” said Saahira Dayal (9), who placed 2nd overall in Principles of Business Management and Administration.
Shortly after breakfast was served, the Grand Awards Ceremony began. A total of 20 Harker teams placed in the Top 3 overall for their events, while many more earned spots in the Top 10 awards. Attendees and chaperones loudly cheered as Harker DECA competitors left the stage, with medals, glass plaques, and beaming faces.
Overall, despite the effects of COVID-19, the 2022 Silicon Valley District Conference was a huge success. It provided attendees with a fantastic experience that provided valuable insights into their competitive events and a special chance to forge new friendships.
“I’m incredibly proud of all the officers and attendees for adapting to the new restrictions and environment at this conference. It was great to see how much dedication everyone put into their competitive events, and I can’t wait to maximize our momentum at the State and International conferences this year!” said Mr. Glass, Harker DECA’s chapter advisor.
Members placing in the top 3 are as follows:
- Shreeya Merchia (10), Anika Muddu (11); Sports and Entertainment Operations Research
- Marcus Blennemann (9); Principles of Finance
- Chloe Lee, Kaitlyn Wang (10); Marketing Team Decision Making
- Bowen Xia (9); Principles of Finance
- Tanisha Singh (10); Entrepreneurship Series
- Medha Yarlagadda (10); Restaurant and Food Service Management Series
- Claire Luo (10); Sports and Entertainment Series
- Saahira Dayal (9); Principles of Business Management
- Chloe Lee, Kaitlyn Wang, Cynthia Wang (10); Integrated Marketing Campaign- Event
- Marcus Blennemann, Nelson Gou (9); Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan
- Catherine He (12); International Business Plan
- Saahira Dayal (9); Franchise Business Plan
- Jonathan Wang (9); Principles of Finance
- Valerie Li (9); Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research
- Ashwin Kuppahally, Adrian Liu (10); Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making
- Bowen Xia, Caleb Tang, Jonathan Wang (9); Finance Operations Research
- Sanaa Bhorkar (9); Principles of Business Management
- Justin Chen (10); Business Finance Series
- Meishin Yen (10); Hotel and Lodging Management Series
- Catherine He (12); Restaurant and Food Service Management Series
About The Harker School DECA:
Harker DECA is an International Competitive Business Organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in four fields of business: marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Our DECA chapter integrates classroom instruction, applies learning, connects to business, and promotes competition in order to prepare the next generation to be academically prepared, community oriented, professionally responsible, and experienced leaders.
To learn more about this story, please contact:
Claire Luo, Director of Communications 2021-2022