“I have a friend to visit in almost every country.”  
—Haroon Bokhari ’16

Haroon Bokhari ’16 (Lahore, Pakistan) had a hunger for the broader world, so he considered colleges in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Canada, and Germany before deciding on Macalester. 

“Pakistan is a homogenous society; most people have the same look, the same religion,” says Bokhari, “but go to lunch at Macalester and you can have students of 10 different nationalities at the same table.”

It began in the first days of Orientation, when he met Jake Speirs ’16 (Cottage Grove, Minn.) and thought, “This guy’s funny; I want to be his friend.” They became roommates in sophomore year and remain good friends.

“I was lucky to be part of Lives of Commitment in my first year, where I met most of the people I know today,” says Bokhari, who served as an LoC leader the following year. Lives of Commitment is a group of first-year students who want to be involved in the community in a way that reflects their values. For Bokhari, that led to weekly tutoring commitments first with third graders, then with Somali immigrants learning English.

At every stage of his college career, there have been more people to get to know. “When I took a creative writing class, I learned about other countries from what my classmates wrote, and they learned about Pakistan from me.”

Bokhari is majoring in economics and mathematics, and found that even in courses such as Financial Accounting with Professor Jeff Evans, there was a world perspective and students of whom to ask: “Does this happen in Pakistan? In Vietnam?”

One spring break, Bokhari traveled to Las Vegas and California with a group including friends from Sweden, India, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and the U.S. “One night we ate Korean food, one night Pakistani—every night it was a different cuisine.”

As a sophomore, Bokhari interned in Macalester’s own Investment Office and this summer he interned as an investment banker in New York with Wells Fargo Securities in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications group.

Now, as a senior, those many friendships take on even greater value as he and his friends call on each other for interview practice and advice on making that next big move into a world where Bokhari says, “I have a friend to visit in almost every country.”


August 31 2015

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