Akshit Goyal, a Pearson Scholar from India, was one of the event speakers. “Four years ago, 40 of us came from 25 different countries across the world with big hopes and dreams,” said Goyal, who is graduating with a computer science degree. “We all came together and started this beautiful journey. Wherever life takes us, I know each one of us will do great work and keep making a positive impact in our communities.”
This year’s reception was held in person, following the 2021 event for the inaugural cohort that was online due to public health restrictions. Vice-Provost, Students Sandy Welsh noted that much of the Scholars’ U of T experience had come during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You have learned in so many different ways—overcome more hurdles than you might even realize—from virtual, to in-person, studying and connecting through so much uncertainty,” said Welsh. “So often we look ahead to what is next, but here today, let’s celebrate how much you have already achieved. You’re here! You did it!”
It’s perhaps understandable for the Scholars to look ahead, as they move forward with plans as exciting, diverse, and impressive as they are. Some are moving directly into the workforce, such as Goyal, who has accepted a position with Microsoft. Another Scholar, Priscilla Layarda, will be returning home to Indonesia to work for McKinsey Consulting. Others are pursuing advanced degrees, including Wenting Hu from China, who is off to Cambridge University for a master’s degree in finance and economics. Lara Wulandari, meanwhile, who came to U of T from Indonesia, will remain at U of T for the direct-entry PhD program in economics.