DECA Students Enjoy a Week in Orlando for ICDC


Provided by Mahima Atmavilas

DECA students spend their day in Disney on Saturday, April 22 before attending the Opening Ceremony.

Mahi Parikh, Staff Writer

On April 21-26, DECA students had the opportunity to travel to Orlando, Florida for ICDC, or the International Career Development Conference. These students were able to be a part of this competition through earning a spot after the States Competition in March 2023. For most students, preparing and studying for ICDC was a long and difficult process.

“I wrote a 20 page business plan as a written entry, submitted approximately a month before the competition. I also put together a presentation about my business to use when roleplaying and pitching to the judge,” said sophomore Mahima Atmavilas. 

Atmavilas competed in the Independent Business Plan event, which is a written event where students present a business proposal to the judges, along with submitting a written document prior to the competition. Other students had events which included a test taken prior to the competition and a roleplay with the judge, and they had to prepare in different ways. 

“Students have access to a Competition University program in addition to an online quiz software provided by that helps students to prepare for their test and presentation events,” said Laurie Rominski, a sports and entertainment and advanced marketing teacher. 

Sophomore Anisha Annainaidu competed in Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making, where she and her partner had 30 minutes to prepare after given a case study, and then 15 minutes to present to their judges. Like all role plays in this competition, there were performance indicators and 21st century skills that each competitor had to make sure to showcase throughout their response. 

This competition was at a much larger scale than most first time competitors were used to, and there was a big difference compared to the DECA States Competition held in Virginia Beach. 

“The experience of competing was different from states because it felt a lot more intimidating, since there were thousands of people there,” Annainaidu said. 

Through continuous preparation and hard work, certain students earned awards for their achievements at this international level competition.

“Top scores were earned by Anisha Nanda, Rashmi Admala, Shivani Sukumar and Manya Mahesh. Shivani Sukumar also recompeted on finals day, earning a place in the top 20,” Rominski said. 

This year, ICDC looked different from previous years. From the competition being canceled or online due to COVID-19, this was only the second year getting back to what these trips used to look like. Outside of actually competing, students were able to enjoy different activities on this trip. 

“We visited parks like Disney and Universal, we went out for a team dinner before competitions, and also made a visit to Disney Springs,” Annainaidu said.

With so many students traveling to different states, some safety regulations had to be put in place that DECA requires for each student.

We had a curfew set at 12:30 am. This was a DECA wide curfew. We traveled in groups to the convention center and when going around amusement parks. Lastly, we stayed in our Freedom group when at closing and opening ceremonies,” Atmavilas said.