Last month, Harker’s DECA chapter hosted its first fall conference, during which 50 grade 9 DECA members from the Silicon Valley district prepared for the upcoming DECA competitive season.
Attendees enjoyed a light breakfast before activities began in Nichols Hall. Following some introductory presentations and icebreaker activities, the students took part in a testing exercise modeled after tests given at DECA conferences. “I was excited that a lot of our first-year members got to experience this before their first competitive conference,” said junior Anika Muddu, Harker DECA’s vice president of competitions.
After lunch, students learned about DECA roleplay tournaments and developed responses to a prompt about ethics in the hotel industry. After presenting their responses to volunteer judges, the students received feedback on how to improve. “The roleplay tournament was a great first introduction to what the roleplay experience would be in a real conference. It’s definitely a different feeling when you know that you want to do well and place,” said Gabe Li, grade 9.
Later, the students had the opportunity to take part in workshops on a variety of topics. Stanford lecturer Matt Abrahams hosted a workshop on persuasive speaking, while entrepreneur and angel investor Suneela Muddu presented on how to pitch a business. Other workshops included “Investing 101” by Cisco engineer Yuri Mitnick and “Social Media Marketing,” delivered by Chegg social media manager Daisy Zhang.
During the closing ceremony, awards for the day’s competitions were doled out. Awardees were as follows:
First Place: Cindy Yu
Second Place: Emily Mitnick, Gia Emelie, Gary Jin
Third Place: Shiven Balaji, Valerie Li, Ruhan Sahasi
First Place: Sam Parupudi
Second Place: Tiana Salvi
Third Place: Saahira Dayal
Top 10 (Listed Alphabetically): Maya Affaki, Saahira Dayal, Ariana Gauba, Gabe Li, Valerie Li, Lauren Lin, Sam Parupudi, Tiana Salvi, Shaila Tandon, Caleb Tang