As Kerthanan Srikantharajah reflects on his time at the University of Waterloo, he feels that he’s leaving ready to become a leader and make things happen. Equipped with a BMath, Honours in Actuarial Science with a Finance option, Joint Honours in Statistics, a minor in Computer Science and four job offers, the road ahead looks promising.

Srikantharajah believes that Waterloo helped him to build the skills, knowledge and expertise necessary for the real world. His classes and co-op positions challenged him and gave him valuable experience that’s beneficial in today’s society.

“With so much of the world moving towards automation and artificial intelligence, someone being competent in math is highly valuable,” Srikantharajah notes.

Kerthanan Srikantharajah

Kerthanan Srikantharajah
Faculty of Mathematics (BMath '20)

Extending knowledge on the job

Srikantharajah started implementing what he learned in class at his first co-op position as a junior accountant at the law firm Fasken, Martineau, DuMoulin. Housed in the offices where the television show Suits was filmed, Srikantharajah met top lawyers and helped the accounts payable department improve their business processes. His next co-op position allowed him to work in the field of Actuarial Science. At Gore Mutual Insurance, he gained experience in data processing, finding patterns and developing solutions to real-world problems that would land on the desks of senior management.

He continued to get exposure to senior management at Intact Insurance. His previous experience and networking at Waterloo’s information sessions landed him the role. His most notable project involved a report for management about whether to continue a specific change implemented in their business. “That showed me how much we could do as a co-op student,” Srikantharajah says. “We can make changes and move companies to be in a leader in different sectors.”

Srikantharajah landed his last co-op term at PWC in New York where he showcased his skills that he developed from prior co-op positions, to help develop an advanced analytics team. He successfully helped roll out several machine learning projects to generate revenue and identify potential cost reductions for several clients.

Discovering the spirit of innovation

During a co-op term with FairVentures, Srikantharajah spent time in the Innovation Lab at the Communitech Hub. Learning about design thinking and surrounded by entrepreneurs sparked an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship. Diving deeper into different fields of emerging technology and trends, and being in the heart of Waterloo Region’s spirit of innovation, encouraged Srikantharajah to take advantage of more entrepreneurial resources. He started attending events and pitch competitions offered by Velocity, the Accelerator Centre and Communitech.

Eventually, Srikantharajah plans to start his own business combining Actuarial Science and Data Science.

“I want to build something from scratch after finding my entrepreneurial spirit at Waterloo,” Srikantharajah explains. “Whatever I do, I’m going to showcase my skills and use what I’ve learned to be the leader that Waterloo set me out to be.”