This year, nine sophomores qualified for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) which will take place from April 30 to May 3 in Orlando, Florida. Out of the 185,000 students in the high school branch of ICDC, 14,000 will attend the event.
To qualify for the event, the students had to place in the Northern California Career Development Conference on January 14 in which 34 Harker Business Club (HBC) members participated. For the event, the sophomores will compete in the same categories that they have competed in since the beginning of the year, so they already have business plans for the event.
The conference consists of two parts, a written portion and a presentation. First, the students take a written exam that tests their knowledge of business ideas. Achieving a high score is mainly based on memorization of the material, according to Joseph Wang (10).
The presentation, on the other hand, models situations in the business world more closely. The contestants will submit a business plan for a judge to look over and then pitch their idea to the judge or role play a scenario pertaining to their category. The presentation includes an interview process at the end. According to Michaela Kastelman (10), this part of the conference will help her improve her presentation skills and she hopes to learn from more experienced attendees from other schools. HBC’s Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) program is sending a significant number of students for the first time. Last year, no students attended. Though, they did compete in competitions on a regional level. Harker Business Club advisor, Peter Itokazu, said that the students were able to qualify for the prestigious tournament because of their dedication to the program.
“A group of freshmen [joined] last year and were very committed […] it paid off,” he said.
Students aim to not only gain knowledge about business concepts, but also broaden their horizons with exposure to enriching environments. Since many students from other, non-local schools will be attending, participants such as Joseph Wang hope to gain knowledge during the trip.
“Even if I don’t win, the conference will be worth the experience, since I will have had the chance to meet such amazing people from all over the world,” Joseph said. Joseph is entering the buying and merchandising operations research event with his team consisting of Neel Bhoopalam (10) and Andre Jia (10).
Many HBC members are competing in events pertaining to tourism. The team of Tiphaine Delepine (10) and Rachel Yanovsky (10) will be participating in the Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making event, while Michaela Kastelman (10) will present in the individual category for the same event.