This article originally appeared in the summer 2016 Harker Quarterly.
By Zach Jones and William Cracraft
Business and entrepreneurship (B.E.) and DECA students have been busy! DECA students attended and earned accolades at the International Career Development Conference in April and the State Career Development Conference in March, and a B.E. student won a $20,000 award for managing personal finances in a nationwide contest.
History Made at 2016 ICDC
In late April, 20 students from Harker’s DECA chapter attended the 2016 International Career Development Conference (ICDC) at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn., with great results, including a first place win.
“The four-day business conference featured competitions with tough opponents, skill building leadership academies and unforgettable experiences,” said Shania Wang, grade 9, director of communications for Harker DECA.
Two Harker teams finished in the top 20 during preliminary competitions, earning them the chance to compete in the final round. And, for the first time in Harker DECA history, a student from the chapter received first place in a role-play event at ICDC. Enya Lu, grade 9, took top honors in the principles of finance category, while teammates Dolan Dworak, Brandon Mo and Michael Sikand, all grade 10, were finalists in the independent business plan category.
“It was a great opportunity to learn about how business works in a culture like that of Nashville and get feedback from local business owners about how to appeal to a non-Bay Area market,” said Shreyas Chandrashekaran, grade 10, Harker DECA vice president of competitions and strategy and a competitor in the finance operations research category.
Harker advanced two teams to the final round of competitions: Lu and the team of Dworak, Mo and Sikand. Harker DECA members exploded in cheers as Lu was named a top 10 finalist. Within minutes, it was announced that Lu won first place in her event. “It felt amazing,” said Lu. “I was very surprised and I was kind of scared when I went up. I was really excited and I thought that I did well already, but I really wasn’t expecting it. When they announced third and second, I thought that I wouldn’t get it, but then I did, and it was amazing.”
“This year’s ICDC was an amazing experience for students who were able to connect professionally, serve their community, and develop further as future business professionals and emerging leaders,” added Juston Glass, Harker DECA advisor. Read the full story in Harker News: http://wp.me/pOeLQ-7z9.
CardioBand wins at DECA Career Conference
Grade 9 students Natasha Maniar and Kelsey Wu won first place at the DECA State Career Development Conference in March for a product they designed called CardioBand.
“CardioBand is an innovative three-in-one personal medical and fitness device which will revolutionize the way people monitor their heart health,” said Maniar. The proposed device will function as an electrocardiogram, emergency alert and a fitness monitor. Utilizing a Velcro harness and an app, CardioBand would be able to detect irregular heartbeats and prevent deaths related to sudden cardiac failures.
Maniar and Wu recently had their plan reviewed by venture capitalists and financial analysts, and are happy with the feedback they received. “CardioBand is a huge step up,” said Alex Antebi of Connective Capital Management. “It leapfrogs the competition with its continuous monitoring and proactive notification system.” Read the full story in Harker News: http://wp.me/pOeLQ-7CY.
Freshman Entrepreneur Nails Life Finance Challenge
Rithvik Panchapakesan, grade 9, was named an H&R Block Budget Challenge scholarship winner! Panchapakesan won the award for proving himself a personal finance master in the game of “life.”
Students who participated in the challenge were given a virtual job, complete with a 401(k), credit card bills and student loans. They then had to successfully manage their paychecks for 10 weeks. Panchapakesan competed with thousands of students nationwide and was one of only 22 to receive the $20,000 scholarship.
“The most challenging part of the budget challenge was managing my credit card utilization rate,” said Panchapakesan. “I think this challenge will help me manage my money in life because it brought the different issues of money management to my attention.” Read the full story in Harker News.