Palo Alto High School’s club for emerging business leaders and entrepreneurs, Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), had eight members earn spots in the top eight overall for their respective events and four members earn top eight in portions of their event at the State Career Development Conference (SCDC) in San Jose, Calif that took place from Feb. 26 to Mar. 1.
At their first conference, the Silicon Valley Career Development Conference (SVCDC), 25 members attended and seven members placed within the top eight spots for their events at the tournament.
DECA’s performance at SCVDC and SCDC demonstrated their proficiency in preparing for events over their first year. For many members, SCDC was their last conference, unless they qualified for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) that will take place from April 18-21 in Orlando, Florida.
ICDC will be attended by competitors from around the world. Any country with DECA is eligible to attend if their members place within the top four spots for an event of a qualifying conference.
Some events of the conference are composed of two-parts: an exam and a roleplay.
The exam is a 100 multiple choice questions that test the competitor on content relevant to their event category.
For roleplay, there are two different types- one is a written assignment that is presented to a judge, and the other involves brainstorming a solution to a hypothetical scenario.
Sophomore participants Jerry Hong and Josh Code placed in the top eight in their individual events at the SVCDC. Meanwhile, Samarth Venkatasubramaniam participated in a two-part event and claimed second overall; Juniors that placed within the top eight for their events included Greg Eum, Anant Marur, Natalie Maemura and club co-presidents Karina Chan and Stephanie Cong.
Following SVCDC, Chan predicted a growth in both the number of club members and the number of competitors to attend SCDC. According to Chan, a handful members would place within the top four and many to place in the top eight. Members who placed in the top four will automatically qualify for ICDC.
Compared to the 25 attendees of SVCDC, Paly DECA saw an increase to 36 members that attended SCDC.
At SCDC, sophomores Alice Zhao, Code and Venkatasubramanian placed in the top eight overall for the Public Relations Project. Co-presidents Chan and Cong were in the overall top eight for the Creative Marketing Project and junior Miranda Chen along with sophomores Daniel Li and Hong claimed spots in the top eight overall for the
Entrepreneurship Promotion Project.
Participants who placed for only a portion of an event included Venkatasubramanian for third in the roleplay in Principles of Finance, freshman Nicholas Zhao for top eight in the same event, Hong for top eight in testing in Principles of Hospitality and junior Mischa Nee for a spot in the top eight in testing in Principles of Marketing.
No members at the competition placed in the top four positions for any events, so they will not be moving on to attend the upcoming conference, ICDC. DECA members will meet but not prepare for future events.