From Feb. 22-25, 139 students from The Harker School DECA Chapter attended the 2021 State Career Development Conference (SCDC). This conference was held virtually due to COVID-19, and students competed by submitting recordings of their events. To simulate the in-person conference feel, SCDC also featured Career Prep Academy Workshops and a Harker DECA chapter social. Overall, Harker performed admirably, with 59 overall finalists and 28 top four written event and top five roleplay winners.
“SCDC was the culmination of Harker DECA’s efforts this past year, and I am extremely proud of how far our students have come,” said senior Anvitha Tummala, Harker DECA co-chief executive officer. “Everyone has demonstrated such commendable adaptability with a virtual DECA experience, and due to a competitively successful SCDC, I’m excited to see our chapter compete at ICDC next month!”
The conference started off with the opening ceremony which our chapter watched through a livestream on Zoom. Students were motivated to find their purpose by keynote speaker Quinn Tempest, a successful entrepreneur who has dedicated herself to helping people reach their life goals. Tempest said, “never stop asking yourself big important questions” and “purpose is the ‘why’ that drives what you do.”
“She discussed her personal motivators and what led her to be a successful entrepreneur, inspiring me to search for my own purpose in the work I do,” said Clarice Wang, grade 11, Harker DECA VP of Operations. Since this competition was held online, submissions worked similarly to SVCDC, and members were given two days to record their written presentations and roleplays, put the documents in a Google Drive folder, and turn in the link to the DECA submissions portal.
“Though I’d much rather be presenting in person, it isn’t all bad! I liked that we could re-record if we made a small mistake, and the conference went very smoothly,” said Shreeya Merchia, grade 9.
SCDC activities continued with a Harker DECA Chapter Social which took place on March 5. The Harker DECA Officer team prepared a variety of fun and engaging breakout-room activities such as baking cookies, playing Among Us, watching “Wandavision,” participating in sports trivia and more. Members were allowed to hop between as many of the bonding activities as they liked, the most popular being Wandavision.
“Although this is our second time competing in an online format, the Harker DECA chapter has been preparing for a virtual competition the entire year through Zoom study sessions. Students submitted videos of their presentations and PDFs of their business plans that were judged asynchronously,” said senior Bryan Zhang, Harker DECA VP of competitions. “Despite not being able to have live competition, we were still able to simulate business case studies and develop ourselves professionally. The virtual format also demanded higher levels of creativity and teamwork to stay ahead of the curve of other teams, which I am sure will benefit all competitors in the long term.”
The competition concluded with an awards ceremony hosted by California DECA on Thursday, March 11th. Members joined a livestream as the California DECA Officer Team recognized advisors and announced ICDC (International Career Development Conference) qualifiers. To simulate stage recognition at an in-person conference, winners were spotlighted when their names were announced. Along with our chapter members’ achievements, Harker DECA was recognized for achieving Gold Level Certification for the Chapter Awards Program, as well as Thrive Level for the Chapter Campaigns and Membership Campaign.
“From kicking off the conference with a motivational message about purpose, our competitors no doubt found their purpose while competing at SCDC. I’m incredibly proud of the officer team for helping run this conference smoothly, and I am looking forward to making more conference memories at ICDC!” said Chapter Advisor Juston Glass. “Congratulations to all of our ICDC qualifiers. Go Harker Eagles!”
Members qualifying for ICDC are as follows:
• Shreeya Merchia, grade 9; Principles of Marketing
• Vienna Parnell, grade 11; Hotel and Lodging Management Series
• Vedant Kenkare, grade 11; Marketing Communications Series
• Bodhi Saha, grade 11, Kaden Kapadia, grade 11; Sports Entertainment Marketing Team Decision Making
• Mina Okamoto, grade 9; Integrated Marketing Campaign – Product
• Shreeya Merchia, grade 9, Cynthia Wang, grade 9; Integrated Marketing Campaign – Event
• Harshini Chaturvedula, grade 9, Jasmine Ishikawa, grade 9, Anjali Yella, grade 9; Entrepreneurship Innovation
• Ananya Bammi, grade 10, Saavi Kumar, grade 10; Finance Operations Research
• Miki Mitarai, grade 9, Medha Yarlagadda, grade 9, Meishin Yen, grade 9; Hospitality and Tourism Operations
• Margaret Cartee, grade 9; Principles of Business Management and Administration
• Bryan Zhang (12); Sports and Entertainment Marketing Series
• Emily Zhou, grade 11, Emily Tan, grade 11; Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making
• Aditya Singhvi (12), Andrew Sun (12); Hospitality Services Team Decision Making
• Annmaria Antony, grade 10; Grace Hoang, grade 10; Marketing Management Team Decision Making
• Emily Tan, grade 11, Emily Zhou, grade 11; Business Services Operations Research
• Leisha Devisetti, grade 10; Sports and Entertainment Marketing Operations Research
• Cynthia Wang, grade 9; Principles of Marketing
• Rohan Varma (12); Automotive Services Marketing Series
• Max Xing, grade 9, Carey Chang, grade 9, Kevin Zhang, grade 9; Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research
• Ananya Bammi, grade 10, Saavi Kumar, grade 10; Financial Services Team Decision Making
• April Sun, grade 11; Restaurant and Food Services Management
• April Sun, grade 11; Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling
• Camilla Lindh, grade 11; Quick Serve Restaurant Management Series
• Simren Kochhar, grade 11; Entrepreneurship Individual Series
• Sara Wan, grade 10; Human Resources Management Series
• Sujith Pakala, grade 11; Quick Serve Restaurant Management
• Victoria Han, grade 11, Catherine He, grade 11; Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making
• Elvis Han, grade 11, Melody Luo, grade 11; Marketing Management Team Decision Making