Ana Bravo, Maalik Simmons and Jessica Matula, all seniors, attended the conference from April 28 through May 2.
Bravo and Simmons placed in the top 20 out of 160 teams in the business law and ethics team decision making event.
“This year was amazing,” said Bravo, a second-time attendee at ICDC. “Maalik and I got to see what it was like to compete as a team at the highest level. We definitely enjoyed the experience, and it was a great conclusion to our DECA careers.”
Competitions require the students to perform in a combination of objective testing, spontaneous case study, presentations or written manual preparation.
For their competition, Bravo and Simmons were required to take the business management and administration exam and complete a spontaneous problem-solving case study.
“The opportunity to meet, network, and compete against the best is ... something I will never forget,” Simmons said.
Matula attended the Senior Management Academy, a two-day workshop that helps seniors transition to their next stage of life, whether it be business or college. The program concentrates on teamwork skills, group dynamics, and decision-making skills.
She said a highlight of the workshop was the executive mentor program, through which students had the opportunity to interact in small groups with high-profile executives from DECA’s National Advisory Board and other top companies.
Among the executives participating was George Zimmer, founder and CEO of Men’s Wearhouse. “ICDC helped me to branch out and become more outspoken,” Matula said. “It encouraged me to meet and interact with new people, which is something I used to struggle with. The conference helped me gain confidence in myself.”
During the conference, the students also had the opportunity to network with other students from across the country, and from international countries such as Germany, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
DECA, an Association of Marketing Students, is a co-curricular student organization that supports the development of marketing and management skills in career areas such as hospitality, finance, sales and service, business administration and entrepreneurship. DECA helps students to develop skills and competence for marketing careers, to build self-esteem, to experience leadership and to practice community service. There are more than 185,000 DECA members around the world.