Count the Ways to ICDC

The 2014 International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Ga., will bring together thousands of DECA members, advisors and supporters ready to compete, campaign, participate in academies, and Make It Count. The big question is, will you be among them?

Whether 2014 will mark your first, next or last ICDC experience, the time to start planning is now.

Just how will you qualify for ICDC? From the obvious to the lesser known, here are 10 ways to get your ticket to Atlanta:

  1. Role-Play Events
    Series, principles, and team events are the foundation of every DECA competition. Pay attention in your business or marketing class, read relevant textbooks and study the performance indicators for your event. Boost your scores by taking practice exams and role-plays available for purchase from DECA Images.
  1. Written Events
    Want to start your own business, conduct marketing research for a real company or plan and execute a community service project with your chapter? DECA’s written events can seem overwhelming, but starting now will alleviate a lot of the stress. You could write just two pages a week and be done by winter break! Get creative too; ask your school counselor, English teacher or DECA advisor if a written DECA project could be substituted for a required research paper or senior project.
  1. Stock Market Game
    Get a code from your chapter advisor (they need to register first) and test your skills in predicting financial markets. The game goes until December, and 25 teams per region qualify to present their investment portfolio and strategy at ICDC.
  1. Virtual Business Challenges
    Don’t waste your time playing Candy Crush Saga! Compete in one, or all four, extremely competitive online simulations created to test your business acumen. Challenges include Personal Finance, Restaurant, Retail and Sports. There are two rounds and each qualifies two teams per region.
  1. Finish Line Challenge
    Conduct marketing research and present recommendations to Finish Line through a YouTube video submission. Finish Line executives select the top three teams to present their recommendations in person at Finish Line headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind., and the winner is awarded a travel stipend to ICDC. Having been an advisor to two previous finalists I can attest, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity presented by an outstanding partner to DECA!
  1. FIDM Challenge
    How fashion savvy are you? Put together a look that will be on trend for Back to School 2014 and submit a video to the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising for evaluation. The winning look will be shown at ICDC; start designing today!
  1. School-based Enterprise Certification
    Does your DECA chapter operate a school-based enterprise? Is it Gold Certified? Gather and submit your SBE manual to prove that your school-based enterprise meets the standards required for gold certification. Gold certified enterprises are eligible to send three store managers to attend and compete in the SBE Academy at ICDC.
  1. Thrive Academy
    DECA Month is in November, so start planning your chapter’s Membership, Promotional, Community Service and Entrepreneurship campaigns. Four campaigns sound overwhelming? Any chapter that meets the requirements for just two of the Promotional, Community Service or Entrepreneurship campaigns receives recognition from DECA Inc., and three allocations for the Thrive Academy at ICDC. And, by meeting two of the Membership Campaign requirements, you'll also receive three allocations for the Thrive Academy. Even better – you can conduct many of the activities from the start of school through November.
  1. Scholarships
    Keep your resume up-to-date as you make the most of DECA during the fall semester. Scholarship applications are due in January and you will want to have a detailed account of your DECA achievements, as well as your letters of recommendation lined up. Scholarship winners are recognized at ICDC.
  1. LEADS Academy
    In addition to competition and recognition, ICDC is the place where many newly elected association officers receive their first training experience. If your goal is to experience DECA to the fullest and give back to your association, consider running for office. Be sure to check with your chapter and association advisors for rules and deadlines regarding your campaign.

Well, there you go. Now the tough part, where do you start? Find the opportunities that make sense to you and that you are most passionate about, and ask your chapter advisor about even more opportunities than just the 10 listed here!

Make the most out of this year as a DECA member and you’ll truly Make It Count.

Follow Wichita East DECA on Twitter @WEDECA.

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