Your Chance to Make an Impact: Volunteer as a DECA Judge

DECA’s International Career Development Conferences (ICDC) are the pinnacle events of the year. Over 14,200 high school and college students will be competing in events focused on Business, Marketing, Finance, Hospitality, and Entrepreneurship. These students worked hard all year to earn their spot at ICDC. They represent their states in the hopes of being named an international champion. In order for these two events to be successful and give students the best experience possible – we need your help. DECA needs over 1,250 volunteers to judge student presentations. You can see sample videos of what judging at ICDC looks like here at the high school level and here at the collegiate level. But what better way to understand how crucial volunteers are to the overall success of ICDC than to hear straight from the students who count on you being there! Help more students have positive experiences and set them up for success and sign up to judge at


“My DECA experience began my freshman year when my partner and I qualified for ICDC in California. The thought of competing at the international level was daunting. Luckily, we had the most amazing judge. She really listened and had some great feedback for us that is still useful today at all levels of competition. She treated us like we were seasoned competitors. I am now and junior and I still remember her feedback (and even her Marriott name tag.) She really made an impact on my DECA experience and is the main reason why I continue to compete today.”

-Rachel, Riverbend High School



“At the 2016 ICDC competition, my first judge in the Stock Market Game competition was amazing! She had SunTrust Bank displayed on her name tag and I could tell was very knowledgeable in the subject area. Even as an experienced competitor, the judge was friendly and made me feel comfortable through her questions and her engagement through the presentation. At the end, the judge shared with me some of her thoughts of what she expected coming into the presentation and in what areas I exceeded those expectations, which prepared me for the final round!”

-Ben, Sir John A Macdonald Secondary School



“Competition has been (and continues to be) my favorite part of DECA because it is an opportunity unlike any other high school experience. Through competition, I’ve learned what living and working in the real-life business world actually looks like. Meeting and interacting with judges has allowed me to relate to professional adults and share my ideas with them, which is such incredible practice for my future. Now when I walk into a job interview or business meeting in real life, I will have the courage to speak my mind since I’ve already done it before.  Even better, DECA competition embraces students of all skill sets. No matter your idea, no matter your experience, no matter your talents, DECA competition is the place for you to use all of them together. It is the place for you to shine in your own way. I am so thankful for everything I’ve learned from the judges I’ve met in every DECA competition.”

-Elena, Lake Braddock Secondary School



“Judges are vital for the success of the competitions. My first year, at states, my judge was interested, enthusiastic, and engaged from the second I introduced myself to the second I left. This becomes an excellent confidence booster. During an event, regardless of how much you have prepared or how well you know your presentation, it can be nerve-racking. Knowing your judge is listening to you and wants to make it a conversation, allows you to get in the zone and show all of the hard work you’ve put into it- rather than becoming a victim to your own nerves. At the end of my first event with DECA, my judge gave wonderful feedback that has allowed me to grow.”

-Alexis, Apex High School



“Being highly involved in the competition aspect of DECA throughout my four years as a member, officer, and chapter president, I have had the opportunity to interact with numerous industry professionals. My experiences with judges at DECA conferences have all been extremely positive and helpful towards improving my skills as I develop professionally. One of my most memorable experiences was at the 2018 FLDECA CDC. I competed in Business Finance and got to present my scenario to a finance professional who had worked with Disney for over 20 years. My judge made me feel comfortable when I was presenting and asked me questions that really made me think. Being in a one-on-one situation can sometimes be nerve racking but having an exceptional judge like mine made me feel confident in what I was presenting and encouraged me to continue what I was doing with DECA.”

-Griffin, Lyman High School



“When I was a freshman, I was terrified to complete my role play at the state conference. I am normally extroverted and talkative, but I was extremely shy when I introduced myself. My judge was awesome and made me open up and feel more comfortable. He cracked jokes and got really into character so that I could follow his lead. Even though I didn’t win or place, I still felt like he cared about my experience and wanted to help me. I definitely grew from the experience and that was largely thanks to that judge.”

-Sydney, Sherando High School



“I had a great experience at the 2018 competition. It was my first year and I was extremely nervous. My judges were so great though, they relieved me of my anxiety and nervousness. At the end, when they asked questions, I felt confident with my answers and their comments were valuable to me. They gave me more information and tips to grow and learn. The conference allowed me to not only hang out with my friends and meet new people, but my experience competing helped me realize that this is what I wanted to do. It opened a door to my future. Now that I’m in my second year in DECA, I am working hard and looking forward to what my future holds.”

-Nicole, Monroe Career & Technical Institute



“I presented a business plan on temporary apartment housing for active military near Naval Station Norfolk. After my presentation was over, my judge began to talk to us about our business model. It turns out, she worked in the apartment industry, and her company was beginning to initiate a similar idea to what we had. It was really amazing to see that our ideas were applicable to a real company.”

-Ryan, West Forsyth High School


Are you ready to make an impact? Use the links below to sign up. For more information, please contact Stacey Sickler at or 703-860-5000.


Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference

April 15 & 16, 2019 | Click Here to Sign Up

DECA International Career Development Conference

April 29 & 30, 2019 | Click Here to Sign Up