After half a semester of preparation and hard work, 105 MSJ DECA students competed at the annual State Career Development Conference (SCDC) from February 28 to March 2 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. SCDC is the largest conference for MSJ students, in which participants from high schools all across CA compete in four fields: finance, marketing, business administration, and entrepreneurship. Twenty eight MSJ students placed in the top four of their respective events this year and qualified for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC), where they will compete against other qualifiers from each state in the US. The conference ended on March 2, early in the morning, with the awards ceremony. Some notable performances include Junior Sabrina Wu, who placed first for her role play in the Marketing Communications Series Event and second place alongside Junior Jennifer Gu for their Start-Up Business Plan project. Junior Neha Gondra placed first for her report in the Finance Business Operations Research event. Seniors Maximilian Wang and Tylor Wu placed second for their project in the Integrated Marketing Campaign. Additionally, Seniors Irene Gao, Zihao Li, and Aijia Wang placed second in the Community Giving Project. Co-President Senior Dylan Feng said, “ Due to the new Career and Technical Education class requirement, MSJ DECA’s numbers have dropped a bit, and from this year’s results at the Silicon Valley conference, I was definitely expecting a weaker performance at States this time than last year. [However] we performed very well, having almost 30% (28 of 105) of our chapter qualify for international competition and 50% (49 of 105) finish in the top 10.”
On the first day of the conference, competitors took two-hour exams on each of the four competitive clusters. The scores of these exams were factored in the final placements and results of their corresponding events. The following day consisted of the bulk of these competitive events, with students participating in roleplays (simulated presentations to a judge where competitors take a specified position in a company to propose their business strategy) and writtens (20-page business reports which are presented to judges).
For the past two years, an MSJ DECA student has become a state officer, leading California DECA as a whole and representing all the chapters in the state. This year was no different: Junior Tyler Shern was sworn as the Vice President of Silicon Valley for California DECA’s State Officer Team, acting as a liaison between the state association of DECA and the chapters in the region of Silicon Valley.
As for future plans, DECA’s main goal is to increase underclassmen membership. “We hope that with more people joining the club as underclassmen instead of upperclassmen, there will be a greater commitment and more time for them to develop, grow, and hone their skills in DECA,” said MSJ DECA Co-President Senior Annie Zeng.
Photo Courtesy Tyler Shern