By Ivy Lam
Making it to the International Career Development Conference for DECA is an accomplishment like no other.
Walker Greep, a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, qualified for the International Career Development Conference, or ICDC, by placing 15th place in the Broward County region during the 2020-21 DECA Stock Market Game.
An online competition, the Stock Market Game, is where students develop and manage a virtual investment portfolio of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. The goal is to ultimately increase the value of their portfolio all the way to the end of the game.
“My strategy was to look for stocks that were innovative and to short stocks that were overvalued,” said Greep. “I hope to compete as best as I can and to enjoy the experience.”
The top 25 teams in each registered region get the opportunity to present their portfolio at the DECA Virtual ICDC in April, where hundreds of DECA competitors from schools across the nation come together to compete.
“I am extremely excited that I qualified for ICDC through the SMG. I only wish we could all actually go to California,” said Greep. “I feel the Academy of Finance and DECA is a perfect fit for me, and I am so grateful for these opportunities, my teachers, and all of the practical things I have learned that I can apply to real life.”
The Stock Market Game was introduced to students like Greep through the Academy of Finance courses offered at MSD, specifically the Economic and Financial Services class taught by Sharon Cutler.
“I love it when I have a student like Walker who was excited about the stocks he purchased within the game,” said Cutler. “It makes me really happy that I have a student [competing] at the international level [and showing] what he’s learned throughout my course.”
The game mimics the rise and fall of the actual stock market. Rankings are determined on the percentage growth above or below the value of the S&P 500 throughout the simulation.
Greep, a Parkland resident, gained a lot of knowledge and experience from the game and said it helped prepare him for the real market. To help him prepare for the competition, he continues to learn as much about the market and reads up on market trends and how to pick winners consistently.
At the April event, Greep, along with other students, will have to justify the decisions they made about their investments in a written document and discuss their project. Additionally, the competitors will be required to conduct a 15-minute oral presentation on their overall experience.
While Greep is the only DECA member at MSD who qualified immediately for ICDC, he is not the only one throughout the years.
Cutler said that over the last ten years, they had two teams who won first place and one team who won third place in the world at ICDC.
In addition to qualifying for ICDC, Greep will also compete at States in the Marketing Management Team Decision Making Event with his partner, Ryan Newman.
Outside of DECA, Greep runs for the varsity cross country and track team and is a member of Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, Investment Club, and Sports Media Club.
He also enjoys reading and researching topics he is interested in and says he hopes to win at ICDC.
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- Ivy Lam is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This school year, she is an officer in DECA, Newspaper, and HOSA. Her favorite pastimes include reading, writing, and watching sunsets.
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