We all have plans for our future, and whether those plans look ahead one day or one decade, we all dream. Some students at this school have ambitious career goals, and to help them achieve those goals, they join clubs such as DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America). The club aims to prepare students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and entrepreneurship.
Members were first attracted to DECA because it presented a way to explore possible career path for them. “Since most people, including me, have never really learned about, or been exposed to, business topics like management or finance, I was interested in learning more about it because I was possibly considering it as something I would want to do in the future,” co-vice president and sophomore Emily Yuan said.
As a part of the DECA curriculum, students participated in community service projects, competitive events and educational conferences. Now, as the last event of the school year for the club, they are attending the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando, FL, from Apr. 27 to Apr. 30. “The competition entails roleplays, tests and presentations where we present in front of a judge. But, in addition to competing at a conference, we also have the opportunity to attend workshops, network with business professionals and meet new people,” Yuan said.
Going into ICDC they have multiple experiences under their belts, having attended both the Regionals and States conferences (SCDC). Both of these conferences were designed to prepare for students to qualify for the international competition. “In order to qualify for ICDC, one must place in the top two of an essay and presentation event or top three of a role play and exam event in SCDC. To secure our advancement to ICDC, my partner and I worked nonstop. There was a day when we worked until 4 a.m. to finish our 20-page proposal,” co-vice president and sophomore Amy He said.
The team stepped away from SCDC with multiple victories. “I won third place in the Business Services Marketing Series Event at Regionals individually and second place in the Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research Event at SCDC with my partner Emily Yuan. Everyone who competed did very well, though,” He said.
More important to them than their competition goals, though, is the team’s desire to meet like-minded individuals. “We attend Power Trips and Career Development Conferences to develop our leadership skills and compete with other high school students in various business events. Best of all, we’re able to meet driven students who enjoy the same passions as we do,” president senior Andrea Chen said.
As the school year winds down, regardless of their upcoming performance at ICDC, the team is proud of their efforts and the experiences they have gathered through DECA. “This year has been a great and eye-opening experience for all of us because we’ve grown and learned a lot,” Yuan said.