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Down to Business

On February 28th, 53 members of Camas’ DECA team will head North to Bellevue, Washington to take part in one of the most competitive statewide conferences in the nation in hopes of snagging a spot at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC).

In order to set these students up for success, the club does heavy preparation ahead of “state”. As senior Robert Pinedo adds, “[State qualifiers] have to cram in about six or seven practice tests before [state]”, but students do not actually know if they qualified until around three weeks before testing begins.

Pinedo and Wright at last year’s state competition. Courtesy Ava Wright.

Although Pinedo says students should probably prepare more in their free time, club members who plan on going to state are required to attend hour-and-a-half-long study sessions every Tuesday and Thursday leading up to state. They take written practice tests based around different areas of business as well as practice role-plays.

While the written testing is fairly self-explanatory, the role-play process is less clear, as Junior Ava Wright explains: “First, you get five indicators that you have to meet in the roleplay,  then you get an actual… scenario [that] tells you who you are and who you’re presenting to in the imaginary situation… You’ll also receive a problem, and while you’re [presenting]… you meet the indicators, you incorporate vocabulary, and [include visuals]. You get 10 minutes to prep the whole thing.”

Pinedo adds, “You’re given 6 minutes to present, and then the last two minutes are pretty much fulfilled by the judges asking questions”

At the actual state conference, students are expected to complete one written test and two roleplays.

Besides the competition itself, spending a few nights in Bellevue can be an adventure on its own.  “You’ve got Gucci stores, you’ve got Louis Vuitton, you’ve got really all the high-fashion stuff there. It’s a really rich area… the bums there drive Lamborghinis,” says Pinedo.

He adds he “cannot wait to take [Wright] to Louis Vuitton and the rest of the boys down to the Gucci store and… have some fun.”

The state competition ends March 2nd, with winners advancing to the International Conference in Orlando, Florida in mid-April. Last year a handful of students competed at ICDC in Atlanta, so Camas expects to send quite a few students this year, as well.

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