Mr Khan was born in Bangladesh in 1971, before immigrating with his family to the UK at the age of four. Mr Khan said he was the victim of racial abuse while growing up, and he told UEL graduates to not let harassment or institutional racism stand in their way.
Mr Khan said, “No matter what happened, I had the peace of mind and knowledge that all the obstacles that I faced, all the chatter, all the name calling, all the doubting, all the undermining - it was just noise in the background.
“It did not define me. It did not change who I am. And, and most importantly, it couldn’t hold me back.”
During his time with the Canary Wharf Group, Mr Khan has been instrumental in bringing together organisations, workers, and residents across Canary Wharf. He has been an advocate for creating training and networking opportunities for people, and celebrating their successes, including running the Canary Wharf Sports Personality of the Year ceremony, and Community Champions Awards.
Mr Khan is passionate about football and how it can be used as a ‘social leveller’, and is the founder of Sporting Bengal United and the Bangladesh Football Association UK.
Globally Mr Khan has used his connections within sport to establish a football academy in Bangladesh which has supported over 6,000 aspiring footballers. Many have gone on to become professional players, including current Bangladeshi captain Topu Barman.
Mr Khan encouraged the graduates to follow their own passion after university. He said, “You can achieve your dreams if you set your heart and mind to it. However, whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come along the way, it’s part of life. But from this disappointment, you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.
“Work hard, be kind and amazing things will happen.”