Coming from the rainy and cloudy state of Oregon, the sunny paradise of Anaheim, California was a welcomed change and huge relief. The 2017 International Career Development Conference (ICDC) was held from the 25th to the 29th of April in Anaheim. There, students from across the world came to compete on the international level. These few days were not only filled with competition and networking, but it was also packed with sunshine and thrilling adventures to the “Happiest Place on Earth.”
Oregon DECA started ICDC with a bang! The opening state meeting got everyone excited and eager for the week to come. The Disney sing-a-long not only energized the members, but it brought back nostalgic memories to all. This year’s revolutionizing spirit item, a sound activated, glowing baton, only made the members more excited for the rest of the meeting and set the tone that would take precedence for the rest of the conference.
The grand opening session was the most loud and energizing way to officially start the conference. Sitting in a venue with thousands of other members, one could feel the surge of enthusiasm and eagerness flowing through the room. To top it off, the American indie pop band Echosmith performed, raising the “hype” and enthusiasm to an all time high.
The days preceding the grand opening session consisted mostly of testing and events. Students who compete at ICDC have placed extremely highly in their regional SCDCs. Here in Oregon DECA, the association only takes the top 3 competitors of each event, making every Oregon ICDC qualifier a valuable addition to the state. During these days, the state officer team was able to caucus with the executive candidates. They got to know each of the candidates as well as gain an insight on their vision for DECA in the next year.
Perhaps the highlight for most members, competitors got to spend their entire morning at Disneyland, the “Happiest Place on Earth.” Combined with the warming sunshine, DECA Day at Disney was loaded with shrieks of joy! The following night, DECA Inc. did the unthinkable: renting out Universal Studio. The night the entire place was filled with only DECA members. That night was not only incredible, but members felt as they were part of something larger as they were united together in one area enjoying the music and the breath-taking rides. They felt as if they were part of one of the biggest business conferences in the world. They were, as ICDC 2017 is one of the largest Career Development Conference on record.
Walking into the state closing meeting, one could sense a feeling of anxiety filling the room. After enjoying Universal Studios, everyone wanted to know how they did. The state closing meeting consisted of mostly recognition awards and information on what Oregon DECA members can expect in the upcoming year.
Compared to the grand opening session, the grand closing session was even louder and more energetic. One by one, the finalists were called upon stage, and the best of the best claimed their DECA glass. This year at the 2017 ICDC, Oregon DECA obtained some substantial results: 29 finalists, 3 DECA glass trophies, and countless memories. Congratulations to all of our finalists and winners! Although the grand closing session was officially the end of the conference, many members were still not ready to let go of the new experiences and friendships they have gained in the last few days. Hakuna matata. The 2017 ICDC may have come to an end, but DECA members still have many opportunities and conferences they can look forwards to attending. Keeping their heads up and unfaltering dedication, Oregon DECA members look forward to seeing what 2018 ICDC has in store for them.
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