“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” -Steve Jobs
What do the late Steve Jobs and second-year Nithin Jilla have in common? Skimming the surface, one will notice that they’ve both once resided in Cupertino, California. Yes, ladies, sound familiar? You’ve probably wondered why your precious iPhone has been preset with that peculiar place; it’s also known as Apple headquarters.
But that’s beside the point. Only about two years into his college career as an Anteater, Nithin Jilla has a lot more in common to the late technology maestro than meets the eye, and not to mention has one heck of a resume.
Starting in high school, Nithin was one of a group of students to organize Kenya Dream, a non-profit organization geared towards supporting and providing students in Kenya with valuable facilities and ultimately, a proper education. Highly influenced by the success and opportunity brought by their effort and the popularity of their yearly dance show, Kenya Dance, Nithin then decided to take the club to the next level. Once choosing to be an Anteater, Nithin sought right away to establish his own branch of Kenya Dream, notably the first branch in the entire UC system, here in Irvine.
Nithin refers to Kenya Dream as one of his most prized accomplishments as a student here at UC Irvine. His knack for networking and communication between companies, for both sponsorship and mentorship, created a strong foundation for the club and the team behind it. In less than one year, Nithin was able to book popular names such as Quest Crew and Fanny Pak, as popularized by America’s Best Dance Crew. Sponsorships soon came flowing in by popular brands such as Soy Joy and Jarito’s that provided over eight hundred students with free snacks and goodies prior to the show. Following it’s first successful run, Kenya Dance SoCal raised over a thousand dollars minus all expenses towards one of two schools the club has already created in Kenya. Nithin believes that “seeing the fruit of [his] efforts” was his absolute favorite moment here at UCI.
His sense of entrepreneurship rivals any student on campus, for his hard work and effort eventually awarded him with Club President of the Year. However when asked for his main motivation and influences, one will be surprised to know that his is neither human nor tangible, but instead a sheer desire to “[help] others and make a difference.”
On other days when he’s not busy chatting away on his phone to future connections, students can find Nithin at a number of places on campus. One of a handful of students this year, Nithin works as a Career Center Marketing Intern. In terms of academics, he stays motivated and adamant as a student in the field of Computer Science and is the ICS Student Council Outreach chair for the current year. His work alongside the UCI Bren Center has also landed him a spot as one of the many ASUCI Bren Board Representatives. When he’s not completely swamped with those activities, one can find him organizing increasingly popular TEDxUCIrvine conventions.
So on his downtime, what exactly does he do? Nithin says he enjoys “basketball, tennis…and hanging out with friends,” an incredible feat considering the rigorous schedule he follows day by day.
As far as future aspirations go, Nithin finds a lot of his passion lies continuing his brain child, Kenya Dream, and hopes to continue “raising awareness” and eventually “spreading the cause nationally.” In terms of career, he says he would love to be an “entrepreneur and [to] start [his] own business” someday in the near future. Sound familiar?
With two more years left up his sleeve, Nithin Jilla shows a lot of promise brings the University of California Irvine both a passion and motivation seen in only a few students throughout this campus’s history. We at HerCampus UC Irvine can’t wait to see what he has in store for all of us next!