The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


37 DECA Members Qualify for International Career Development Conference

By Staff Writers Aria Lakhmani & Jonathan Liu

MSJ DECA excelled at this year’s State Career Development Conference (SCDC), held in Anaheim, CA from March 1 to 3.

Out of 133 students who represented MSJ, 45 teams and individuals placed in the top ten of their respective events, and 37 students placed in the top four in their respective events, earning invitations to DECA’s most prestigious event of the year, the International Career Development Conference (ICDC).

Competitors at SCDC participated in two events: roleplay and writtens. In roleplays, students completed a 100-question multiple-choice exam that evaluates their knowledge of their respective clusters — marketing, finance, business management and administration, and hospitality and tourism — and pitched a concept based on a given prompt from a parent judge. In the written portion, students conducted research on a company or presented their own entrepreneurial venture to a judge through a 15-minute presentation. Judges then determined competitors’ rankings in the roleplays and written based on their thoroughness, appeal, and financial projections.

In particular, the club saw success amongst its first-year members. “We were hoping for a few first year qualifiers [for ICDC], and we did get that. It’s going to be interesting to see how they progress in the future,” MSJ DECA Vice President of Operations Junior Tylor Wu said.

From April 27 to 30, ICDC qualifiers will compete at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, where 18,000 high school students, advisers, entrepreneurs, and alumni will gather.  

Although there is upperclassmen prioritization and a limit on students admitted into the Marketing class In the future, MSJ DECA plans to expand its membership to more underclassmen in the future. Additionally, the club aims to improve the existing mentorship program, in which incoming members are paired with experienced officers who can provide help and advice for competitions. The club is also looking into ways to improve the logistical aspect of attending SCDC through noting down members interested in SCDC before the Silicon Valley Career Development Conference.

MSJ DECA adviser Bellamy Liu was impressed with how officers handled logistical issues for this conference. He said, “the DECA officers did a tremendous job at planning and organizing the logistics. There were workshops that we organized for the students to drive forward their projects, and the officers really helped mentor each team of students.”

Wu has been chosen to serve as the Vice President of Silicon Valley for CA DECA next year, and CA DECA President Senior Emily Zhang has recently concluded her term.  

According to Zhang, “MSJ DECA usually does very well competitively … Every time you hear your chapter name being called and see someone go up to the stage, it’s always a really nice thing to see.”

Graphic by Graphics Editor Lucia Li 

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