DECA ICDC: Building Connections with Future Entrepreneurs Across the Globe



EHS DECA Attendees of ICDC. Nicole Halpin, Gauri Kshettry, Jayesh Chaurasia, Vedanta Talati, and Archana Maryada.

Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) members at Edison High School competed at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Atlanta, Georgia from April 23 to April 26, 2022. Seven students qualified, though only four of them competed in the conference. 

Jayesh Chaurasia ‘23 and Vedant Talati ‘25 competed for Principles of Finance, Gauri Kshettry ‘25 for Principles of Business Administration and Management, and Archana Maryada ‘25 for Personal Financial Literacy. Ms. Nicole Halpin, Supervisor of 21st Century Skills in Edison, supervised this trip.

EHS’ chapter of DECA competes yearly against other students in the region and state in a competition regarding different aspects of business fields. Students can compete in events like marketing, finance, and business administration, at three different levels: the Central-West region, state (SCDC), and international (ICDC).

I was able to meet a variety of people, learn more about the countless sides of business, and display my skills and knowledge at the international level.

— Jayesh Chaurasia '23

Competing DECA members first take a test regarding their event for the regional competition. If they qualify for the state competition, students compete in Atlantic City, where they take another test and participate in a roleplay. In a roleplay, students assume a position related to their category and respond to a business situation. They are given ten minutes to prepare for the given scenario and then interact with the judge about the situation for ten minutes. Only ten students in each category make it to the semi-finalist round, where seven students then qualify for ICDC. 

The international conference included several ceremonies such as the Opening Ceremony, the Mini Awards Ceremony, and the Grand Awards Ceremony. The ICDC ceremonies were held in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, hosting elements like mini fireworks on stage and a dance pit near the stage. Students are required to dress in formal attire and wear their official DECA blazers when competing. There was a state meeting in the hotel for all New Jersey chapters.

At ICDC, students take a test on their topic and complete their roleplay. If they are finalists (top ten), they perform a second roleplay. There are awards for the top three in each event based on the highest cumulative scores for their test and roleplay. Even if an individual was not a finalist, the student could still receive an award specifically for either their highest test or roleplay score at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Chaurasia won the first place roleplay medallion for his event. “As a first-year member of DECA, ICDC was a thrilling experience,” said Chaurasia. “From exploring downtown Atlanta to meeting students from different regions, the conference was a place where thousands come together and connect based on their shared interests. I was able to meet a variety of people, learn more about the countless sides of business, and display my skills and knowledge at the international level.”

In their free time, students could explore Atlanta and attend numerous events that DECA has organized. These events included Six Flags, Coca-Cola World, College Football Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Aquarium. There was also a concert performed by Judah & The Lion. DECA students could choose and purchase tickets for their desired trips. During the College Football Hall of Fame event, numerous DECA students were able to spend their time dancing and throwing footballs at targets. 

“DECA gives students the opportunity to compete on an international stage and the four students from Edison took full advantage of that. I am so proud of Jayesh for winning a medal for his first-place role-play and am confident that even more students will win awards in the next coming years…It was an honor to work with these students and I am so excited for the future of Edison High School DECA as these students continue in competition and leadership,” said Halpin, the EHS ICDC chaperone.

Attendees enjoyed their time at the conference of Georgia, networking with individuals in the business field. Pins and souvenirs from each state were traded with items from other states to keep as memories of the event. This competition gave students the opportunity to explore occupations in business and gain business experience.