Valedictorian Farzaan Nathoo-Khedri created community in the face of adversityBy Jon Parsons Faculty of Mathematics
Having an undergraduate program upended by the pandemic and the move to remote classes was not just a challenge academically, but also with respect to the community aspect of the university experience.
For the graduating class of 2022, many students had a more typical in-person and on-campus experience for the first two years, then two years online or in hybrid formats.
Farzaan Nathoo-Khedri, the spring 2022 valedictorian for the Faculty of Mathematics, saw those challenges as just another opportunity to innovate, adapt and overcome.
He has been creating community and finding ways to get involved in student life throughout his undergraduate career, pandemic or not.
For Nathoo-Khedri, who is graduating with a degree in actuarial science, getting involved means doing a little bit of everything.
"I was in so many extracurricular activities, and that made a huge impact on my university experience," he says. "I had a number of different positions with the Actuarial Science Club, including being president in my final year. I was a student ambassador and an orientation leader. I was even a referee for intramurals basketball."
Nathoo-Khedri also served in roles in communications and administration for the Canadian Actuarial Student National Association and with various community organizations outside the university.
"Growing up, I was taught that giving back is one of the most important things you can do," he continues. "But there really is so much I get out of being involved as well. I’ve made so many friends and learned so many skills. It’s been one of the most rewarding parts of being an undergraduate student."
He credits the support and inspiration of family, friends and classmates for his success. He says his parents and his brother helped him at every step along the way, and fellow students in actuarial science and throughout the Faculty of Mathematics motivated him to excel.
As an actuarial science graduate, Nathoo-Khedri is accustomed to trying to engage with complexity and the unknown, and for him, the next step into the unknown will be working at Lyft as an actuarial analyst.
Beyond completing his actuarial exams and progressing in his professional career, Nathoo-Khedri aims to continue helping others through his community service, while also making time for his other passions of creative expression through spoken word poetry and public speaking.
"If there is one thing I would tell the next group of students coming through, it’s to get involved in student life," he says. "It’s a way to meet people and gain skills at the same time. But it’s also about building community. Given what’s happened through the pandemic, fostering community is more important than ever."
"Getting involved provides the kind of experience that will help address some of today’s big problems, and maybe even help us change the world."