CHS9 first year DECA students breakthrough to ICDC


Nick Larry

CHS9 students Yashitha Chunduru, Sabah Uddin and Navya Singh, pictured with CHS9 DECA advisers William Harrington and Kim Porter, were named DECA finalists and International Career Development Conference (ICDC) qualifiers at the state DECA Career Development Conference on Feb 26. ICDC qualifiers will compete on April 24 in Atlanta.

Yaamini Jois, Staff Writer

After spending middle school with their hearts set on different aspirations aside from business, CHS9 students Sabah Uddin, competition vice president Navya Singh and club president Yashitha Chunduru placed as state finalists and International Career Development Conference (ICDC) qualifiers at the 2022 DECA competition

As freshmen and first year DECA members newly venturing into the business industry, the titles of state finalist and ICDC qualifier are significant and allowed the students to explore business as a possible career choice.

“I went into the state competition not really expecting much,” Uddin said. “I didn’t go into it thinking that I would make it to ICDC, but I was looking forward to the competition and ceremonies.”

DECA is an organization that prepares high school students for different sectors of the business industry. From Feb. 24-26, DECA held the Texas State Development Career Conference in Houston, with Coppell High School, New Tech High @ Coppell and CHS9 competing under different chapters. This year is the second year that CHS9 has competed separately from the CHS DECA chapter. 

ICDC qualifiers are the few handful of students chosen from state finalists. The three freshmen are state finalists and ICDC qualifiers as the highest performing participants in their respective events. 

ICDC finalists were above the top 10% of the events they competed in.

Singh participated in the Entrepreneurship Series event, Uddin participated in the Principles of Hospitality and Tourism event and Chunduru participated in the Principles of Business Management and Administration event.

All three CHS9 finalists competed in roleplay events, which includes taking a 100 question test, receiving above a certain score on the test and completing a roleplay situation in a workplace environment for their respective events in front of a judge while assuming a given role and presenting a solution to their prompt. 

At the competition, the freshmen were given 10 minutes to prepare for their situation. Participants must present their solution to the judge within 10 minutes while answering prewritten questions from the judge and rubric.

“It’s all about using the business vocabulary they know, putting it in the scenario, and delivering it in a very professional way,” CHS9 DECA adviser Kim Porter said. “Our finalists were able to score well on their exams while excelling at their roleplays.”

While Chunduru and Uddin competed in principles events typically recommended for first year DECA students, Singh competed in an individual series event, which is open to all DECA students and included two roleplays.

“It’s a lot like acting,” Singh said. “It’s all about getting into your character.”

In addition to preparing for their roleplay events in Houston, the students had to prepare for their initial exam, which partially determined their total score.

“There are a lot of practice tests from DECA that we used to practice for the exam itself,” Chunduru said. “For our roleplays, we practiced with each other and went through each situation one by one.”

The finalists were given roles as coworkers, HR managers and business owners and tasked with creating the most effective solutions and proposals to their given problems while standing out from other candidates through their perceptiveness, vocabulary and creativity. 

“Within the roleplays, creativity is how you stand out,” Chunduru said. “In my roleplay, I realized that I could bring in creativity by making my preparation notes an agenda to give to the judge.”

One of Singh’s roleplays was as the owner of a vegan business. Singh brought a modern angle into her roleplay by presenting the advantages her business had over the meat industry while catering to the more socially aware younger generation. 

“Where you run the risk is how you bring things in,” Singh said. “Sometimes, you can bring in modern issues as examples in your situation to support your solution, but if your judge doesn’t see it the same way, your solution won’t work.”

The next stop for the freshmen finalists is the ICDC competition in Atlanta, which is April 23- 27. For their competition in April, the students are working on completing more practice exams and roleplays to sharpen their skills before facing a tougher competition.

Top 10 students are ranked at ICDC with the top three receiving trophies and scholarships. 

“Getting to ICDC is both terrifying and amazing for me because of how prestigious it is,” Singh said. “I’m happy that DECA has given me the opportunity to look into the business field more, since I’d never really considered it before.”

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