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WI DECA State Career Development Conference Creates 'Next Level' Virtual Experience

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

This year, the virtual Wisconsin DECA State Career Development Conference (SCDC) aimed to create a “Next Level” experience for participants. Conference attendance, along with competitions, workshops, and awards definitely achieved this theme through an energetic and humorous welcome, all the way through the celebration of numerous awards to close.

The conference included more than 50 competitive events and over 1,400 competitors. More than 400 competitors earned the opportunity to compete at the upcoming International Career Development Conference (ICDC) this month. In addition, almost 100 students will have the opportunity to experience leadership training at ICDC.

The opening session of this year’s State Career Development Conference revealed how strong DECA participation prepares students academically and professionally, exposes them to leadership opportunities, and focuses on community through a wide range of activities:

  • Participating in Trick or Can, where thousands of DECA members collected 68,369 canned goods to give to local food pantries
  • Logging 100+ hours of community service work

  • Completing other community service projects through acts of kindness, general contributions to charity, Polar Plunge, Make-a-Wish Wisconsin, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association

  • Honoring teachers and advisors and the impact they made through the year during the pandemic

  • Earning post-secondary scholarships

Andy Buckley, the actor who played David Wallace on The Office gave the keynote address. With a touch of humor, he honored all DECA mentors and teachers for their dedication, and emphasized hard work, building confidence, and enjoying what you do as important components of defining success.

Student workshops took up a major portion of the conference day. Members heard from a wide range of professionals and fellow student leaders on topics like:

  • Interviewing success, presented by Men’s Wearhouse

  • Leadership styles

  • Building a successful brand

  • Finance, presented by WICPA Foundation and Educators Credit Union

  • Fundraising for schools and communities

The closing session was a celebration of incoming state officers, student, team, and school awards.

Learn more about what DECA has to offer by visiting Wisconsin DECA, and explore how other Career and Technical Student Organizations provide unique opportunities for school and work-based learning.