Jatin Sharma

  College: Grey College
  Subject: History        
  Class of: 2006
  Location: Newport Beach, California

Your Durham Inspiration

Do you remember why you first chose to study at Durham?

Fantastic History department and a desire to be around smart, competitive people who were passionate about academia and their personal interests.

Tell us about any sports, societies or clubs you were involved in at Durham.

I founded the Film Making society in 2003/4. Participated in BALADS (Ballroom and Latin American dance). Durham Union. Palatinate (journalist). Cross country team. Purple radio (anchor). Acted in the Grey College panto. I worked as a campus tour guide. I also did a lot of volunteer/ charity work. I would often go hiking with my tutor Euan Ross.

What work or moment were you were most proud of at Durham?

I made a short film set all around Durham with one of my closest friends at Durham. We hosted a premiere screening in New Elvet and it was a great feeling to have taken an idea and turned it into something others could see.

What are your fondest memories from your time here?

I miss the day to day banter - the top floor of the main library with my best friends Ed Swift and Dan Wylie.

Going for a run, (usually because I was running late) to get the the history department.

Having some colorful debates with Ranald Michie, Howell Harris and David Craig in the history department. Just incredible people to bounce ideas with.

How has Durham inspired you to get to where you are today?

University, like life, is what you make of it. The year I arrived was oversubscribed and I missed out on living at college. It felt like a huge setback at the time but it actually taught me the importance of seeking out opportunities and finding out what was going on proactively, not just on my corridor or college. I was around so many incredibly smart people, it has inspired me to seek them out throughout my career. To hire those people.

What have you been up to since you left Durham?

I have built a career focussed exclusively in renewable energy, notably offshore wind. I continued to learn and went to night school to gain a masters in Climate Change Management and attended London Film School. I completed executive education at London Business School. I’ve been married for 8 years and have 2 daughters who are 6 and 4. I moved the family to the US so we could be closer to my in-laws.

What are you doing that is most meaningful to you now?

I am trustee at Olive Crest where I perform charitable work to support at risk children in need of safe families and foster care.
More recently, I made the decision to leave a company where I had the top job to launch a new company from October 13 so I can leave a legacy my children can remember about creating something myself.

Is there anything from Durham that has stayed with you and still inspires you now?

My friends and my mentors. I draw on both for counsel, encouragement, and laughs. I feel as connected to them today (more so since Covid) as I did 14 years ago.

Tell us about your latest news or developments.

I am launching a new company focused on the global renewable energy, power, and infrastructure space in 2 weeks called Nardac ( 2020 has been a wake up call for me to get back to the person I was at Durham. Combine my passion for making films with supporting and persuading underwriting capital on the importance of reducing risk for renewable energy investments, especially offshore wind. I’m looking forward to hiring Durham history graduates!

Personal interests

I devote nearly all of my time to my children and my wife. Being involved in local charities is extremely important to me as well as supporting my eldest daughters school and the benefits that they host, which are incredibly fun and important for the school.

Pass It On

What would be your top piece of advice for current students and/or recent graduates?

Nothing is worse than business as usual. You should always look for opportunities to excel during turbulence and change. Often, those may come at a time when you will feel afraid to take risks. At a time, when it feels safer to follow the crowd. Always think about the opportunity cost of doing this. You have one life to live, and you need to start living it now.

Is there anything that you know now that you wish you’d known when graduating?

I wish I had had understood the importance of having hard equity in a business rather than being just an employee. It’s only when you get older as companies are bought and sold that you realize that it wasn’t your business unless you were the founder or had hard equity.

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