Upper School

Harker DECA enjoys successful weekend at State Career Development Conference

From March 7-10 more than 170 members of the Harker DECA chapter attended the State Career Development Conference (SCDC), competing in their events with the hopes of qualifying for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC). DECA chapters across California gathered at the conference to display their professional growth, attend skill-building workshops, and network with like-minded peers.

“This year’s SCDC was an outstanding success, and it’s all thanks to the incredible support from our students, officers, chaperones, faculty, and parents! Their enthusiasm and dedication were truly the driving force behind the event’s success, making the entire weekend seamless and immensely enjoyable for everyone involved,” said senior Claire Luo, Co-CEO of Harker DECA. “The collaborative effort and positive energy brought by each individual contributed to the sense of community throughout the conference.”

Early Thursday morning, students and chaperones gathered at SJC in three flight groups to make their way down to Anaheim. After arriving at the airport, members divided into shuttle groups to drive to the Anaheim Marriott, where the conference would take place.

After checking into their rooms and registering for the conference, all attendees proceeded to their testing sessions for the following clusters: Hospitality, Business and Administration, Finance, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship. Following testing, members attended workshops like Digital Branding or Dress to Impress. Finally, the Opening Sessions concluded the day by introducing the California State officers, including Harker’s very own Emily Mitnick as the Vice President of Silicon Valley.

Friday began with all roleplay events, including Individual Series, Principles, Personal Financial Literacy, and Team Decision Making events. Between their scheduled event times, all Harker DECA members attended another workshop and tested their business knowledge in Protege Exams in topics ranging from real estate to event planning.

Following roleplays, students were able to visit Disneyland or California Adventure with their friends as a break from a long day of competition. Saturday marked the last full day of the conference and kicked off the written events competitions. During their free time, students had the opportunity to get lunch, catch up with friends in their hotel rooms, and complete homework before heading to the Mini Awards Ceremony in the evening. During the Mini Awards Ceremony, more than 70 Harker teams were recognized for their competitive excellence in their events, establishing Harker as one of the most successful chapters in attendance.

The next morning, students attended the Grand Awards Ceremony, which would officially qualify teams for the International Career Development Conference in April, being held right in Anaheim, California. The top 10 finalists in each event were recognized but those who ranked top five for roleplay events or top four for written events would be eligible to represent California DECA at ICDC.

Harker DECA members qualifying for the International Career Development Conference are as follows:

First Place:
David Kelly, grade 9, Professional Selling
Amishi Gupta, grade 10, Franchise Business Plan
Arthur Wu, grade 11, Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research
Abby Sachse, grade 9, Principles of Business Management and Administration
Aanya Shah, grade 10, Business Services Marketing
Andrew Au, grade 12, Edward Huang, grade 12, Buying & Merchandising Team Decision Making

Second Place:
Caleb Tang, Jonathan Wang, Bowen Xia, grade 11, Franchise Business Plan
Aaron Ma, grade 9, Principles of Finance
Lucas Chen, grade 10, Marketing Communications Series
Gabe Li, grade 11, Retail Merchandising Series
Ruhan Arora, grade 10, Financial Literacy Project

Third Place:
Kaitlyn Wang, Chloe Lee, Cynthia Wang, grade 12, Integrated Marketing Campaign Service
Tanvi Sivakumar, grade 10, Financial Consulting
Andy Chung, Nelson Gou, Marcus Blennemann, grade 11, Independent Business Plan
Claire Miao, grade 12, Start-up Business Plan
David Kelly, grade 9, Principles of Business Management and Administration
Jonathan Wang, grade 11, Restaurant and Food Management Series
Eden Kelly, Janam Chahal, grade 10, Hospitality Team Decision Making
Metrica Shi, Heidi Lu, grade 12, Sports and Entertainment Team Decision Making

Fourth Place:
Sriteja Kataru, grade 11, Independent Business Plan
Mariana Rai, grade 12, Entrepreneur Series
Abby Sachse, grade 9, Beibei Shen, grade 9,
Nicole Dean, grade 9, Start Up Business Plan
Bazigh Tahirzad, grade 9, Principles of Finance
Abby Wang, grade 9, Principles of Marketing

Fifth Place:
Chelsea Xie, grade 9, Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
Andrew Au, grade 12, Edward Huang, grade 12, Integrated Marketing Campaign Service

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