Class of 2021 looks to the future as graduation nears


Anand Krishnan, Staff Writer

As the Class of 2021 prepares to graduate and end four memorable years at Hoffman Estates High School, many are in the process of planning for college and exploring potential majors.  

Pooja Khatri, class of 2021, has already begun her new journey, committing to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she plans on studying actuarial science. Actuarial scientists assess financial risks. They typically work in the insurance and finance fields. Khatri was drawn to this particular field because it combined her interests in math and computer science.

“I’ve always had a passion for math, so I always thought that I would go into the math field. When I was talking to my parents about what I wanted to do in the future, they suggested that I should do something with computer science. I discovered the actuarial science field which is a mix of computer science and mathematics,” she said.

Khatri’s innate love for math, which is one of the aforementioned factors that led her to choose actuarial science, has been fostered by her participation in the HEHS Math Team and her relationships with her coaches. 

“In Math Team, my coaches told me if I enjoyed math I should push myself, work hard, and keep learning. And I think that is what encouraged me to pick actuarial science, which is considered a ‘harder’ career field,” she said.

Business Professionals of America (BPA), another HEHS club, has helped another member of the class of 2021 decide her future college major. Hamnah Razzak, class of 2021, plans on continuing her education by studying finance in college to become a financial consultant. A financial consultant advises a company on how to be operationally efficient and financially healthy. BPA played a factor in Razzak choosing this particular field by giving her a financial consultant assignment of her own. 

Razzak competed in the Financial Analyst Team event, where she was given some financial information about a hypothetical hair care business, based on which she had to determine how the business could operate more efficiently. “I really liked presenting and finding creative solutions to make the company better,” she said.

Seniors are not the only ones thinking about college, however. Joshua Lim, class of 2022, is planning on studying a business-related major in college. What attracts Lim about the business field is the potential for his income to be unlimited and the ability to work for himself. 

“If you work hard enough, you can make as much money as you can, whereas that may not be true in other fields,” he said.

According to Lim, the class that influenced him to choose this career path was Business Incubator. In this class, students get together in teams to create their own businesses, under the guidance of their teacher, Mr. Canace. Lim was the CEO of Pan Shield, a company that produced silicone dome covers to be placed around pans to prevent oils from jumping out.

“I really liked working with my teammates and thinking of new ideas to make the company better,” Lim said.  When asked what the hardest part of being a CEO is, Lim said that starting the business itself was challenging because the transition from an idea to building, marketing, and distributing an actual product was difficult. Lim’s final takeaway from Business Incubator was, despite all of the challenges he faced as the CEO of Pan Shield, he definitely wants to pursue his passions and have a career in the business world.

College is not all about academics, though. Razzak is looking forward to living on a college campus and making new friends: “When you’re on campus I feel you’re forced to make connections with the people you live with, and they kind of become your family because they are the people you turn to when you need help on campus.”

Khatri is also attracted to college campus life because she is looking forward to joining a community away from home where she can make new connections. She is looking forward to attending a large-sized college in the University of Illinois because she feels she will be exposed to more experiences and will have more learning opportunities.

As they are moving on from their school of four years, Khatri and Razzak reflect on how HEHS prepared them for this next stage in their lives. Pooja cites her teachers and coaches as mentors who answered her questions, offered their help to her when she needed it, and encouraged her to follow her passions. Razzak loved the flexibility that her classes gave her to figure out what her passions were. So even though the class of 2021 will be going in separate ways, they will be taking their shared experience of an amazing four years with them into their respective futures.