Name: Omar Quazi
Year of Study: 1
From: Scarborough, Canada
Program of Study: Computer Science
Fun fact: I’m currently building the software for a social media app for Fraternities and Sororities that allows users to pay their membership dues online, find Greek Life Events happening around Campus and interact via messaging and individual profiles
1. Why did you choose to come to the University of Toronto?
“The main factor that drew me to U of T was it’s location. It’s proximity to my family and friends allows me to live at home, and avoid some of the costs/inconveniences of living away, like not being able to see my friends as much and having to spend time on transportation when I could be studying. I also love the downtown area; the city is great and has a lot of opportunities and things to do.”
2. What is your favorite thing about U of T?
“I like a lot of things. I like how there’s so many places you can go and work on things, or hang out with friends. It’s a very open environment, people don’t judge you or bother you; there are good places to study, and eat. It has a great location and you can easily go to the movies, or the Eaton Center, or visit friends at Ryerson.”
3. What is your favorite thing about St. Mikes?
“I really love the people at St. Mikes; the students are really nice and the administration is great. Compared to other colleges, I’ve found that people here are super friendly. During Orientation, everyone was extremely helpful: pointing out directions, giving me advice on which courses to take and how to manage my course load, communicating with TA’s and profs, etc. Without help from staff and older students, there are a lot of things I would have had to pick up on my own , especially if I hadn’t come to Orientation. The community here is really amazing.”
4. Why do you think it’s important for people to get involved with their college?
“I think its important to get involved because U of T is filled with so many different colleges and students and faculty that sometimes it’s hard to find your place on campus. You have to make the effort to build connections, and I’ve found that when I walk around St. Mikes and see other USMC students and we start talking because of our mutual ties to the college that its a good base for building those connections. It’s important to get involved and get to know those other students around you so that we can all be a part of a tighter community.”
5. What is your favorite memory from USMC?
“I loved the bed races competition during my Orientation week. There was so much energy and excitement during the event, and it’s awesome that St. Mikes has been the dominating college in the race for so many years. Being apart of the event is what led to me wanting to be a leader next year. The introduction I received to St. Mikes and U of T in general, through my orientation leaders, was extremely helpful, and I want to be able to give that experience to future students and offer them advice too. I know personally I was very nervous about asking ‘stupid’ questions in my group, and there was even more that I wished I could have found out during that week, and I hope when I’m a leader I’ll be able to make students feel comfortable enough that they feel like they can ask all those questions without being embarrassed. I also love that when I see my leaders on campus, we say hi to each other and still have that close connection; you make friends in with people in different years, and it’s really cool that those friendships stick.”
6. What is one piece of advice you have for 1st years at St Mikes?
“I would say definitely go to classes and then of course, attend Orientation. You can meet so many new, interesting people and I know it’s nerve-wracking to introduce yourself, but you have to remember everyone else is nervous too; you have to just approach them, and talk to them and be willing to put yourself out there so you can make friends. It makes your University experience so much better because then you have people to study with, and eat with and who will go to events on campus with you.”
7. What do you hope to accomplish during the rest of your time at St. Mikes and/or U of T?
“My goal for St. Mikes would be to definitely get involved with SMCSU. I’d be able to give them a commuter student’s perspective on their activities/events and I think that could be beneficial to the St. Mikes students who don’t live on campus; it’s easy to hear about events when you live in Residence, but I know a lot of students who don’t spend as much time at St. Mikes miss out on a lot of the advertising for them.
For U of T in general, I want to get into the Compsci program and be accepted for a PEY program. I’ve been programming since the 7th grade and have worked for various online companies doing coding for them, and I hope this experience will gain me a great internship. I submitted my resumes to several companies at the Career Fair and was actually approached by Google, but I turned it down because I wanted to wait until I had more experience. Once I have had a few years developing my skills in the Compsci program, I am going to reapply and hopefully get a position there or with another prominent company.”
8. What are your plans for after you graduate?
“Following graduation, I plan to get my Masters and PhD in artificial intelligence, either from U of T or Western. Afterwards, I want to create a start up company that works with computer software and prediction algorithms; basically the focus would be to create software, that acts as an “assistant” to people, similar to Siri for apple products. The software would use the algorithms to predict what types of ways it can helps it’s user next, and try to foresee what things its user might search or ask for in the future.”