BY RACHEL SHARPE
This past week, 27 Cooper City High School DECA students competed at the 65th annualInternational Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando, Florida.
Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) is an organization for high school students who are interested in future business careers. In DECA, students test their knowledge in marketing, finance, entrepreneurship and hospitality through numerous projects and real-life business scenarios.
Over 15,000 students from across the world were in attendance at the international conference. In addition to competing at an international level, the conference also gave students an opportunity to meet other teenagers involved in DECA and even network with business professionals from companies including Publix, Men’s Warehouse and Hilton.
On Monday, students were given case studies from various industries. They had 30 minutes to work out solutions before presenting their ideas to a judge. Following their case study, the students took a 100-question test related to their event.
Other students chose to write 10 or 30-page business plans, either on an existing business or their own business idea. Sophomores Nathaniel Gaudinez, Cory Bunce, and Alec Silverman presented a 30-page business plan in the Sports and Entertainment Operations Research category. Their goal was to devise a plan to enhance or implement social networking into the current promotional plans of the Steven C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.
“By connecting with Gator fans through social networking, the O’Connell Center can gain a larger fan base,” Gaudinez said.
Gaudinez, Bunce, and Silverman worked hard to develop a strategic plan that specifically outlined which social networking sites they would focus on.
“Some of our ideas included creating Facebook and Twitter pages so that fans can keep up to date with upcoming events at the arena,” Gaudinez said. “We also thought of posting video advertisements during the events at the arena to generate more hype and excitement.”
Senior Sara Miller and Sophomore Carly Miller competed in the fashion promotion project category. In this event, students pretend that they work for a particular store and have to create a business campaign to present to the store manager.
“I have been competing in this event since freshmen year,” Sara Miller said. “Though it is a lot of work, it is definitely worth the effort. The process teaches you great communication skills and prepares you for real life business situations.”
Drew Hacker: Yellow ribbon medallion for top 10 exam score in the world – Hotel and Lodging Management
Sara Miller: Yellow ribbon medallion for top 10 exam score in the world – Fashion Promotion Project
Lynette Sesodia: Top 10 overall in the world – Professional Selling Event
Nikki Krakower and Jeremy Rosenstei Top 10 overall in the world – Public Relations Project
Special recognition also goes out to Jenna Luks, Tandy Tiramai and Brianna Wasserstrom for their work on their “X the Text” Public Relations Project. These three wrote the 30-page business plan and were top finishers at the district and state level before handing their project off to Rosenstein and Krakower to present at ICDC.