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Introducing Stuart School's 2017 Commencement Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Hazem Dawani (B.S. Computer Engineering ‘01)
Co-founder & CEO, OptionsCity Software

Hazem Dawani co-founded OptionsCity Software in 2006 and serves as CEO. With offices in Chicago, New York, and London, he oversees the continuous expansion of the company while maintaining its focus on bringing innovation to the financial industry. In 2008, Mr. Dawani and the firm’s co-founders launched Metro, an end-to-end electronic trading solution. Mr. Dawani lead the efforts to grow the company’s client base and expanded operations to connect to 17 global derivatives exchanges. In 2011, OptionsCity introduced Freeway, a micro-second execution algorithmic trading platform and winner of the 2012 Chicago Innovation Awards.

Prior to spearheading OptionsCity, Mr. Dawani was a director in the software department at Chicago Trading Company and worked at SSI as a software engineer building real-time embedded systems solutions. He holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and was a scholar in the IIT Leadership Academy. In 2012, Mr. Dawani was named in the Crain’s Chicago Business “40 under 40” list, and was featured alongside a number of financial industry leaders in The 2015 Trading Technology 40. He has served as a member of the Illinios Tech Stuart School of Business Board of Advisors since 2013 and was selected for the 2013 IIT Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. He lives in Chicago with his wife Elena and newborn daughter.

Graduate Student Speaker

Shachi Sayata
Candidate for Master of Science in Finance

Shachi grew up in Mumbai, India with her parents who are both entrepreneurs. Witnessing her parents start their business and work toward their dreams had a lasting impact on her. Shachi largely attributes her achievements to her upbringing and spending time in her parents’ business.
She built her first static HTML webpage for her father when she was 14 years old. Her early interest in coding persuaded her to complete her Bachelor of Technology in Information Technology and M.B.A. in Finance from NMIMS University in Mumbai.

While at Stuart, Shachi served as an analyst for the student run investment club, Stuart Investments, was a journalist for Illinois Tech’s newspaper, Tech News, and represented Stuart in the PRIMIA Risk Management Challenge where her team placed second. She participated in The Global Leadership Experience, a leadership development workshop set up in association with British Petroleum Group and The University of Chicago. One of her prized possessions is a signed copy of the Ex-Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke’s book – The Courage to Act. She had the opportunity to meet him when she represented Illinois Tech at his book-signing event at The Chicago Theater.

Shachi currently works as a Pricing and Valuations Consultant for the world’s leading derivatives market place and clearing providers – The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group. In addition, she serves as a volunteer for the American Cancer Society in Chicago and the nonprofit organization, Make A Difference. She was also involved in AIESEC, an international student organization, where she organized an event for 350 underprivileged children in Mumbai.

During her free time, Shachi likes to dance, write, read about successful industry professionals, and explore restaurants in Chicago. Shachi is also a certified yoga instructor and loves to work out.
With her current role at CME Group, she continues to foster her learning and contribute her technical skills to the field of finance. Shachi is grateful for this opportunity in her career and the support from the Stuart School’s faculty and staff for mentoring her every step of the way.

Undergraduate Student Speaker

Anders Bybjerg
Candidate for Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Science in Finance

Anders Bybjerg was born in Denmark but raised primarily in the Netherlands until he moved to Chicago to pursue a college degree. Anders participated in the International Baccalaureate program in high school before enrolling in the Stuart Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program. Anders opted to enter a co-terminal program, which allowed him to simultaneously earn a Master of Science in Finance.

Anders was a three-year captain on the Illinois Tech men’s basketball team and helped the team move from a 0-25 record in 2014 to a 22-6 record and the USCAA Championship Game his senior year. Anders earned the Excellence in Sport Award in 2015. During his time at Illinois Tech, he worked as an Intramural and Recreation Student Employee, tutored at the Academic Resource Center, and served as a teaching assistant for various undergraduate and graduate courses. In addition, Anders is a member of the global business honor society, Beta Gamma Sigma.

In the summer of 2016, Anders interned at Merrill Lynch where he worked directly with a senior financial advisor. He is currently seeking opportunities in finance or wealth management and he plans to spend the summer traveling the western United States with his dog and long-time girlfriend, Sarah.