Harker DECA chapter members garnered 19 top three wins at the annual Silicon Valley Career Development Conference in early January and 42 teams received mini awards. In addition to the excellent competitive results, three members were elected to the Silicon Valley District Action Team for the 2016-17 year: Alisa Su, grade 10, as vice president of public relations; Erin Liu, grade 9, as vice president of fashion; and Haley Tran, grade 11, as executive vice president.
Members placing in the top three are as follows:
- Arnav Tandon and Raymond Xu, both grade 11, Finance Operations Research
- Michael Sikand, Vanessa Tyagi, and Dolan Dworak, all grade 10, Advertising Campaign
- Chris Hailey, grade 11, Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling
- Enya Lu, grade 9, Principles of Finance
- Alexis Gauba, grade 11, Business Services Marketing Series
- Chris Hailey, grade 11, Marketing Management Series
- Ria Gandhi, grade 11, Retail Merchandising Series
- Enya Lu, grade 9, Financial Consulting
- Vanessa Tyagi and Rahul Mehta, both grade 10, Sports and Entertainment Team Decision Making
- Sophia Luo and Shannon Hong, both grade 12, Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making
- Alexander Mo, grade 11, The Business Growth Plan
- Haley Tran, grade 11, Ria Gandhi, grade 11, and Ashna Chandra, grade 10, Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research
- Raymond Xu, grade 11, Accounting Applications Series
- Haley Tran, grade 11, Restaurant and Food Service Management
- Michael Wang and Erin Liu, both grade 9, The Business Growth Plan
- Nicole Chen, Shreya Dasari both grade 9, International Business Plan
- Derek Kuo, grade 10, Franchise Business Plan
- Ankur Karwal and Logan Drazovich, both grade 12, Innovation Plan
- Sanil Rajput and Ankur Karwal, both grade 12, Marketing Communications Team Decision Making
Harker DECA members stayed at the San Jose Marriott, the convention host hotel, on Friday night and competed all day on Saturday. Competitions are divided into two categories: written events and role plays. Written events are competitions in which students create business plans and then present them to the judge. In role plays, competitors are given an allotted amount of time to read and analyze a case study, then present it to the judge.
The convention came to a close at the awards ceremony on Sunday morning, starting with the mini awards, followed by breakfast, then the grand awards.
“The energy when a Harker DECA member won was unprecedented, and all the other students in the room were shocked by the amount of energy our chapter brought,” noted Vanessa Tyagi, grade 10, director of communications for Harker DECA.
“The support for each competitor was unbelievable,” added Alexander Mo, grade 11, Harker DECA’s director of written events. “I really think that Harker DECA impressed schools not only with our competitive results, but also our bond as a chapter. I am so excited to see what we can achieve at states!”
Club members prepared for the conference by holding study sessions every Friday and Saturday in the Innovation Center.
“The feeling when I heard my name being called up on to the stage was amazing. All the late nights and hard work were definitely worth it. Just thinking about being on stage and receiving the trophy gives me chills, it was such a surreal experience,” noted Ashna Chandra, grade 10, Harker DECA director of membership.
“I had a really good time at SVCDC this year,” said Shaan Gagneja, grade 10. “I was a finalist in both events that I competed in, and an overall finalist in my written event. I got to meet new people and expand my social network. This conference was an overall success for Harker DECA, and I can’t wait for the rest of the competitive season.”
“We’ve had the best competitive results this year since the inception of the business and entrepreneurship department,” said Sophia Luo, grade 12, Harker DECA CEO. “Thanks to our newly formed Officer Mentorship Program, many of our members worked one-on-one with experienced officers and achieved competitive excellence. I’m so proud of everyone, mentors and mentees alike.”