DECA Members Excel at International Career Development Conference


Jessica Guo

From April 26th-29th, several members of Ward Melville’s DECA club traveled all the way to Anaheim, California, to compete at the International Career Development Conference. Following the state competition, eight students (Jay Sangwan, Varsha Talanki, Priya Mukhi, Kelsey Ge, Josh Farahzad, Will Jin, Austin Day, and Tyler Flynn) placed in the top five and qualified for the national competition. It proved to be a highly educational and exciting experience for all. As club member Priya Mukhi explained, “It was honestly truly eye-opening and amazing to see so many people who were passionate about the same thing: DECA.” Around 20,000 students from around the world competed, and club members were able to meet and interact with students from various American states, Canada, Puerto Rico, and many other places. As sophomore Kelsey Ge remarked, “The other students at DECA were welcoming and friendly, and I was able to make friends outside of competition, too.” Priya agreed, adding, “Everyone was so friendly and each person was unique as they had their own personal story to tell about how DECA has affected them.”

In terms of format, the conference was similar to the regional and state level competitions the team had previously partaken in this year. This was beneficial to competitors, as they were able to prepare based on previous experiences. The competition consisted of written tests consisting of multiple choice questions, and role plays, where competitors are given a scenario and 10 minutes to prepare before beginning. Ward Melville’s qualifying DECA members put in a lot of hard work and effort in preparing for the conference, which showed in their results, as Joshua Farahzad and Jay Sangwan won medals for their performances on the test. A lot of studying had to be done to prepare for the events, and as Priya put it, “Honestly though, I didn’t mind putting in the hard work and effort because DECA is something I am truly passionate about.”

In just its first year of competition, Ward Melville’s newly founded DECA club has achieved great success, advancing to the national stage and performing incredibly well in competitions. Many club members agree that DECA is an amazing way to meet new people and learn about business, with Priya explaining, “If you want to gain an experience not only in business, but learning about different people and places, DECA is the right place for you. If you work hard and study for your events, you will surely do great and hopefully advance to nationals. For me, nationals was not only an enjoyable experience, but also a fruitful and constructive experience.” Kelsey echoed these thoughts, asserting, “I would recommend joining DECA because it provides a unique opportunity for students to learn more about business and practice skills that are needed in real life.”