Keshav Chawla finds the best of both worlds in the CFM program

Monday, March 29, 2021

Keshav Chawla has long harboured a passion for computer science and finance. When he discovered a way to pursue both disciplines simultaneously through Waterloo’s Computing and Financial Management program, his choice of university was clear. “I knew how robust and built-out the program was before coming in,” he explained. “Having that combination of both disciplines was the perfect fit for me.”

photo of Keshav Chawla in the Davis Centre
When the pandemic struck, Keshav began a term as an Online Learning Assistant in the Faculty of Mathematics. “It was an interesting role to take on during a pandemic, to say the least,” he acknowledged, “but it gave me the opportunity to build web applications, work on video compression for online classes, and apply what I’m learning to my classes every day.” Despite the challenges of remote participation, he also served on the Mathematics Endowment Fund Council in late 2019 and early 2020.

Like many of his peers, Keshav chose to study at Waterloo in part because of the university’s extensive co-op opportunities. He’s nearly two months into his role as a Developer Intern at Jam3, which has been an eye-opening experience for the Markham native. “As a front-end web developer intern, I work on meaningful projects for real clients,” he said. “It isn’t just about changing a website; it’s about creating a user experience as we consider everything from loading animations to how users interact with the page. The work I’m doing has helped me envision a career in this field.”

He won’t graduate for another three years, but the intense nature of his program has made Keshav feel increasingly prepared for the workplace. “Going above and beyond in everything you do is the Waterloo way,” he affirmed. “I’m learning so many tangible skills, and the amount of time I’m putting into these courses and co-ops is creating a work ethic that pushes me out of my comfort zone every day. I want to take that mindset with me when I start my career.”

Keshav is still early in his foray into the dual world of computer science and finance, but his co-op experience has sparked an interest in full-stack development. He even considers starting his own company one day. “At some point I would love to work in finance, and getting in with a big bank is a goal of mine,” he said. “But eventually, I want to create my own start-up if I can figure out the logistics. It’s a lofty dream, but I know it’s achievable.”

Learn more about the Computing and Financial Management program and how to apply