Spark Series Spotlight – Ben Kelly (OH 2014)

The OHA are delighted when alumni give back to their school. This year, saw the introduction of the Haileybury Spark Series, developed and run by the Haileybury Careers Department. OHA members volunteered their time to come back and speak to students about their possible careers paths.

Ben Kelly (OH 2014) and  Sudip Mitra (OH 2012), both spoke about the importance of working hard, being realistic and finding balance in life. They emphasised the value of the Haileybury network and encouraged current students to use this fantastic resource after graduation.

Ben offered insights into the emerging world of Data Science and Sudip gave some tips for how to stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs. Both emphasised that researching options, asking questions and  networking was very important, to ensure students make informed choices.

We had the pleasure of getting to know Ben a little more through the Spark Spotlight Series:

Please tell us a bit about yourself

I graduated Haileybury in 2014 after studying Chemistry, Psychology, French, PE, Methods and English. I commenced my University degree in a Bachelor of Commerce at The University of Melbourne. Other studies undertaken where Coursera, DataCamp and Edx data science courses. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to Haileybury in 2012. VCE was completely foreign to me. The decision to study the subjects I did was largely because I heard I should study subjects which were marked up, but also, they were the ones which I knew a little about. I graduated Haileybury with 95.15. I was also proud to be the Sholto Black house captain, Cross Country and Athletics captain. I took about a year off study to pursue my athletic endeavours and made the junior team for the World Cross Country Championships. My coach said a Commerce degree at Melbourne would suit me and I listened to his advice. I later found out that he did the same undergraduate degree. After graduating and upon returning from overseas in early March 2020, I was starting to think about applying for graduate jobs. I was lucky to gain some experience at KPMG as a consultant which allowed me to realise that the type of work there, was not for me. I wanted to use my commerce knowledge but couldn’t see a fit. Through online research, I started to understand the work of data scientists and data analysts. In lockdown, I signed up to many courses and mapped out a study plan. Many people became annoyed as I disconnected myself at that time. I currently work as a data science graduate at The Reece Group.

What did your post-school pathway look like? Did it differ from the pathway you had in mind when you finished school?

For me it was too hard to have a clear pathway in mind. I didn’t follow a set plan from 2014 to 2020. Those 6 years changed a lot. I started a uni degree not knowing that I should have done business management and accounting to make it a lot easier. I then decided last minute to go overseas for 8 months when I graduated from UniMelb, which was cancelled due to COVID.

What were your priorities in school? How have your priorities changed since leaving, if they have changed?

My priority in school was to balance my study efforts with my training. It is the same now and thankfully more manageable. I always want to push myself to learn and achieve things that would have been seen as unlikely. Having big aspirations and taking things on that push me always excites me. How they have changed… my priority whilst at school was to learn and do the right thing, to keep moving forward and get to the next stage of life. Now I have aspirations to get to where I want to be and do the things I enjoy the most by myself. Use my knowledge as power.

What are you most proud of?

I am always proud of how far I have come.

Did you ever stumble? Did you experience strife or fear related to your transition to higher education/work?

No, I was very lucky to get above 95 and have a place at Melbourne. For some reason I didn’t apply when everyone else did and deferred. I applied for a mid-year start in the end.

What are you excited for now or in the future when it comes to education/work?

I am excited about where I can get to. I won’t stop learning and pushing to go beyond my perceived boundaries.

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