DECA to Internationals

Business Group Heads to Florida for ICDC


Photo Courtesy of Adri Karmakar

Seniors Justin Nita. Grant Lee and Adri Karmakar advance to the International level in DECA. On April 28, these seniors, along with others from DECA, are to compete in Orlando, FL. “Making ICDC was definitely an awesome reward for all the hard work we put in,” Lee said. “And I’m extremely grateful to be able to not only represent CPHS DECA at Internationals, but also to go to Disney World.”

Jalen Gomez, Reporter

The DECA team is going to Orlando, FL – not for winning the Super Bowl, but for qualifying for a bid at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC). The business group leaving for Orlando on Friday consists of DECA adviser Kimberly Stapleton, senior club co-presidents Justin Nita and Adri Karmakar, senior Grant Lee and junior Siddhartha Madala. They are competing on Sunday at the competition.

Over 19,000 high school students, teacher advisers, business professionals and alumni are to attend the competition. The members invited have qualified to attend based on superior performance at the district and state level. 

“Making Internationals was probably one of the happiest moments of my life,” Karmakar said. “Ever since joining DECA, my goal was to compete in ICDC because of its exposure and prestige.”

Throughout the event, the objective of DECA members is to demonstrate their college and career ready knowledge and skills by participating in DECA’s industry-validated Competitive Events Program. With a panel of over 1,000 judges, the competition level rises considerably.

“In the past, we competed in role-playing events which required minimal preparation, but after poor results, we decided to compete in the Buying and Merchandising Operations Research Event,” Nita said. “We wrote a 20-page report of Sprout’s business practices and we are more prepared than ever for anything that the judges can throw at us.”

if we were to take home the grand prize, it would be a huge accomplishment not just for my group mates and me, but also for CPHS DECA as a whole, as it would be a giant step forward for the program.

— Grant Lee (12)

Stapleton said that she feels strongly about their buying and merchandising event, and believes they have a good chance of making finals. After a top-five finish last year with graduates Greg Phea, Rithvik Saravanan and Shiva Kumar, Stapleton said that this year’s group has a lot of potential in repeating DECA’s success from last year. 

“There are some good dynamics there,” Stapleton said. “A lot of good energy behind it, and I think that’s one of the key things that sets you apart from other people because at this level, everybody has a great project.”

All business aside, a perk of qualifying for ICDC is being able to go to Disney World and Universal Studios. On Monday night, there is a DECA Day at Universal Studios, where the park closes to the public and it’s open to only DECA members from 7-11 p.m. 

“I’m happy I was able to advance to Internationals and help represent CPHS,” Madala said. “Being able to compete at such a high level is definitely a great privilege and the experience is made exciting with the trip to Universal and Disney.”

For the seniors, this is their last shot to place in the top-five at ICDC. Lee said that doing well at ICDC to cap off his senior year would be the cherry on top.

“There is no better feeling than winning,” Lee said. “So, if we were to take home the grand prize, it would be a huge accomplishment not just for my groupmates and me, but also for CPHS DECA as a whole, as it would be a giant step forward for the program.”