By Sean Devlin, ’15

Jesse DiLillo didn’t come to Northland College to be a sustainable entrepreneurship major, and he certainly never expected to take on the role of goaltender for men’s soccer. He was coming to play goaltender for the LumberJack ice hockey team and to study business.

“I have always been interested in the business sides of things,” DiLillo said. “I want to own my own business someday.”

This entrepreneurial spirit runs in his family. His father, Salvator, owned his own business as a young man and is currently the superintendent of one of the largest natural gas distributors in California.

Because Northland is what Northland is, students get exposed to sustainability issues. By the time DiLillo started his junior year he had taken several sustainable community development and small business management classes.

“I have always recycled, but after a small time at Northland I realized there are other things I can do to help the environment,” he said.

In particular, DiLillo took a sustainability community development class with Associate Professor of Physics Scott Grinnell, called Renewable Energy and Sustainable Design.

“The class is centered around the benefits of green building which is exactly what I want my business to be like,” DiLillo said.

With that class, DiLillo decided to add sustainable entrepreneurship as a secondary major to his business major.

“Originally I wanted to work at a large corporation, but after attending Northland, and with my background in construction, I got the idea to manage a sustainable residential construction company,” he said.
After he graduates in May 2016, DiLillo plans to move back to California.

“I want to get a good job out of college and make enough money to eventually start my own sustainable business, and what I will learn while doing that will only further the education I receive here at Northland,” he said.

Until then DiLillo will continue to take business classes and tend the goal for the LumberJack’s hockey team. He also joined the soccer team last fall and plays goalkeeper.

“Playing two sports and having two majors is like having multiple full-time jobs and teaches you a lot about how to manage your time,” he said. A useful tool for when he leaves Northland and enters the business world.


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