Business enthusiasts attend DECA International Career Development Conference in Orlando


Edward Huang

DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) competitors roam the convention center hallways and exhibit booths on April 23. During the conference, many schools and organizations set up booths to network with students from around the globe.

by Edward Huang, Winged Post Co-Managing Editor

Five chaperones and 42 upper school students participated in the 2023 DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando, Florida from April 21 to 26. 

The conference featured over 20,000 competitors from the U.S. and countries around the world. After arriving, students experienced DECA Day at the Epcot Center in Disney World, where they had the opportunity to explore the park and meet other ICDC qualifiers. Afterward, they attended the grand opening ceremony at the Orange County Convention Center, which recognized all participating chapters and featured guest speakers such as Universal Orlando Senior Vice President of Sales Eric Marshall.

“It was really nice to network with people from across the country during the opening ceremony,” DECA member Evan Matvey (11) said. “I made a lot of new friends and talked to a lot of new people.”

On Sunday and Monday, students competed in their respective prepared written and impromptu roleplay events at the Orange County Convention Center. Competitive event topics included marketing, finance, hospitality & tourism, entrepreneurship and business management. Sathvik Chundru (11), who competed in the integrated marketing campaign (IMC) event, recounts his experience presenting his project in front of a judge.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking at first because there were so many people competing in our event, but I’m confident that we did well,” Sathvik said. “It was a really different experience from any other DECA conference I’ve been to.”

Students and visitors attend a Virtual Business Challenge (VBC) exhibit on April 23. Throughout the conference, attendees had access to a variety of booths to visit and further their business knowledge. (Edward Huang)

ICDC students had the additional opportunity to visit various exhibit booths in the convention center during their competition days. Booths included interactive simulations like the Knowledge Matters’ Virtual Business Challenge, promotional showcases for schools and a DECA merchandise store.

On Tuesday, students gained recognition at the achievement awards ceremony, and those students competed in a final round before a new set of judges. The top competitors from the final round were additionally recognized at the grand awards ceremony that evening, where the top teams from each competitive event received a DECA glass trophy. Harker placed a total of six top-10 finalists, with three groups winning 5th place and three groups in 6th, 7th and 10th place, respectively.