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DECA returns from international conference

24 DECA students spent Wednesday-Sunday in Anaheim, California to attend the International Career Development Conference with junior Junior Ria Bajaj finished in the top 10 in the Business Finance Series.

Chris Ham

24 DECA students spent Wednesday-Sunday in Anaheim, California to attend the International Career Development Conference with junior Junior Ria Bajaj finished in the top 10 in the Business Finance Series.

Melody Tavallaee, Staff Reporter

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24 students from the campus chapter of DECA attended the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, California over the weekend, competing with more than 19,000 students from across the world in the field of business and marketing.

“It feels pretty awesome to get this far because it was one of my goals this year, and I’m happy I achieved it,” sophomore Kanika Kappalayil said. “I’m proud of what we accomplished, and you can only improve from here and learn from others.”

DECA chapter adviser Chris Ham worked alongside competitors and offered support as students prepared for this event.

“We did a lot of practice sessions and we did a ‘Super Saturday’ where we spent the whole day preparing these different things for competitors,” Ham said. “We had multiple sessions throughout the whole week and we just in general supported them with what they need.”

Junior Ria Bajaj finished in the top 10 in the Business Finance Series but the experience of getting to the international conference was enough to raise the school’s profile in DECA.

“In terms of our chapter, it gets us more exposed and everyone gets to know who we are, especially at state,” Ham said. “We took a lot of the positions home and everyone got to hear our school’s name so we got to get the name recognition.”

For Kappalayil, the experience helped build personal skills and connected her with others interested in the same field.

“Competing and all my experiences have built me into a more confident person and taught me to trust my abilities more,” Kappalayil said. “Also, I’ve been able to network and make friends with so many people out of state, and it’s so cool to talk to them. Even though it was an international event, it just feels like one big DECA family.”

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DECA returns from international conference