Empaxis is pleased to announce Nikhila Bulusu as the winner of the Empaxis Scholarship for Women in Business.
As the winner, she has been awarded $2,000 to be used for her educational and career pursuits.
Nikhila was selected among dozens of applicants for this award, and what separated her from the rest was a very compelling essay that demonstrated her understanding of and experience with leadership.
What initially sparked her interest in leadership and a career in business was joining DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) during her sophomore year, where she learned the basics of business, marketing, and finance.
As a member of DECA, she participated in a competition where she was to create her own fictitious company, complete with a product, financial plan, channels of distribution, and an engaging presentation. Her idea, a solution to help reduce technology-related car accidents, went on to be recognized at DECA's International Career Development Conference.
In addition, being a DECA member gave her the opportunity to meet with business professionals across a variety of professions. Those positive experiences are what gave Nikhila that initial drive to lead... and succeed."Being a great leader means not giving up on what you're passionate about."
Nikhila soon applied the leadership and organizational skills she learned from DECA when she founded a local chapter of Students Demand Action (SDA), in response to last year's mass shooting at Parkland High School.
As the social and technology lead for SDA, it was her job to recruit students to join and collectively voice their opinion to local leaders. The experience, though challenging, was very rewarding and very necessary, she stated.
"Working in business is similar to SDA," said Nikhila, "It's important to market and vouch for what you worked for and believe in. Being a great leader means not giving up on what you're passionate about.""Being an 'akka' has shaped me into the person I am today."
Nikhila's lessons in leadership don't just stem from her experiences in DECA; her family has been a big influence.
Being an older sibling, she is known as akka, or "big sister", in her native language of Telugu.
As an older sister, she has embraced the role of akka. Whether it is giving advice or showing her younger brother the proper ways to respect women, she takes pride in being a role model.
Nikhila's parents emigrated from India to the United States, and recognizing the challenges her parents faced moving to a new country and the sacrifices they made to provide a better life for their children, Nikhila not only feels it is her obligation to work hard, but she feels it is her to duty to remind her younger brother about the sacrifices their parents have made.
"Being an akka has shaped me in to the person I am today.""There aren't many people high up in the business world who look like me."
Though Nikhila is proud of her accomplishments, she believes more can be done.
And while she respects the accomplishments of the world's great business leaders and innovators, she feels women, particularly women of color, are not fully represented in these ranks.
"There aren't many people high up in the business world who look like me," Nikhila said.
She also believes that when women of all backgrounds are in these positions, they can generate products and services to serve a wider variety of people, and by pursuing a career in business, she hopes to encourage greater representation.
Furthermore, Nikhila doesn't consider herself as just an akka to her siblings; she sees herself as an akka to all girls and young women who need someone to look up to.
Nikhila recently graduated from Edward S. Marcus High School with a 4.94 GPA and 1430 SAT score. She will be attending Texas A&M University next fall, and she plans to major in business.
Empaxis is proud to support Nikhila in achieving her goals, and we wish her nothing but success for her future.