“First, you must learn to pull an oar. Only then can you take the helm.”
These are the words ICMS Professional Scholarship recipient and accounting student Keegan Du Preez lives by. Currently studying full-time at the “castle on the hill”, Keegan is balancing both entrepreneurial and philanthropic success, from working on two businesses to running his own foundation.
In 2018, Keegan and his family moved to Australia from South Africa in search of new opportunities and a greater quality of life. First moving to Victoria, Keegan took full grasp of the opportunities presented to him. He became school captain in the two short years he attended Flinders Christian Community College, and started his own tutoring enterprise helping 30 students with their studies.
Currently, Keegan is studying a Bachelor of Business Management (Accounting) at ICMS. He decided on an accounting specialisation, because “within every aspect of life whether that be professional or personal, you need an understanding of finance.”
“With a finance degree, you can work in any department, especially with having a general business background. “Along with studying a full time Bachelor degree at ICMS, Keegan also runs a sub division of a charity in South Africa.
The “Matts Foundation” has currently supplied over 300 under-privileged children with food, water, shelter and clothing. When asked what motivates him to give back, he replied “Coming from a third world country, you realise how many resources you have at your disposal when living in a first world country.”
“I’ve become very appreciative of what I have now and what I didn’t have back then. I want to make those opportunities available to as many people as I can” he added.
Alongside studying a degree and running a charity, Keegan also currently works on two businesses. The first, a construction and maintenance service in South Africa, Keegan runs alongside his father, which has been successful in assisting the construction of pipelines and fuel depots. He’s also in the process of setting up his own private tutoring business for both primary and high school students interested in pursuing business.
By tutoring students with a business interest, Keegan hopes to “offer a different perspective to what school typically offers” and connect with them as young entrepreneurs.
ICMS was Keegan’s top choice when choosing where to study accounting, as he believes “ICMS is realistic. They understand the realistic expectations of various markets. It’s not just textbook knowledge, especially compared to every other competitor.” The industry placement component was also a big deciding factor when choosing a tertiary educational institution.
“The industry placement component is an example of diverse and forward thinking, in terms of connecting industry partners with students and helping them progress in their careers. ICMS has made their stance in the tertiary education market, and in my eyes, I see the college as an equivalent to an Ivy League school, such as Harvard.”
When asked about his experience thus far studying at ICMS, his response was, “It’s been immaculate. In the time frame of 3 months I’ve met more people and made more personal and professional connections compared to my entire high school experience.”
So what’s next for this young entrepreneur? While studying, Keegan’s goal is to work collaboratively with ICMS in forwarding their charitable objectives, which is currently in the works. Additionally, he hopes to approach ICMS with a scholarship idea for third year entrepreneurial students who have a well-formulated business plan and need the funds to start up. This would not only show their continued invested interest in students, but would be an incredible opportunity for students to take action and start the business of their dreams.
He also would love to see ICMS open a separate division purely dedicated to mentoring students who are interested in entrepreneurship and pursuing their own business. A whole department of individuals with relevant connections who are prepared to help entrepreneurial students succeed.
“Entrepreneurship has seen a decrease in 80%. [As young people] we have the resources and information but we don’t know how to piece them together” said Keegan. He also has aspirations to further his own business objectives and start his own company in the near future.
With an ambitious attitude and confident mindset like this, Keegan is sure to succeed greatly.
If you’re thinking of joining the growing league of clever individuals who make up the $20 billion accounting industry in Australia, studying a business degree with an accounting focus will put you in a strong position to kick-start your career. Being good with numbers is only part of the equation; accountants also need to be able to interpret financial data to help inform business decisions and communicate their findings clearly and effectively.
The ICMS Bachelor of Business Management (Accounting) degree provides an accounting specialisation within a broader business context. The degree has been approved for professional accreditation by CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (Charted Accountants ANZ), providing a solid endorsement of quality. The curriculum combines business, management and accounting studies to help you emerge as a well-rounded accounting professional ready to provide real business value.
To apply for a Professional Scholarship, click here
To read more about other courses offered at ICMS, click here