For the second time in a row, Keenan Pillay (22) from Reservoir Hills, Durban graduated Cum Laude for his Advanced Diploma in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Autumn Graduation ceremony held at the Olive Convention Centre on Wednesday night (24 May 2023).
Pillay who is now based in Cape Town is part of the Old Mutual’s Tech Talent Graduate Programme and he was proud to reveal that he made the top 15 finalists in over 6000 applications in South Africa. He had to move to Cape Town recently to be part of the 18-month programme and he feels it has been quiet challenging to be away from home, but he is enjoying his independence. He is grateful to Old Mutual for affording him this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Speaking about obtaining Cum Laude for the second time, Pillay said it was just as exciting to hear the news.
“It is a great achievement, and I am really proud of myself. This proves that hard work is always rewarded. I am happy that my sleepless nights and early mornings were not in vain. I always strive for excellence in any task I am given. It has been my nature from a young age,” said Pillay.
He mentioned that this time around he was not expecting to excel in his studies as he faced lots of challenges. Pillay said the COVID-19 outbreak made it hard for every student, especially adapting to online classes. However, he is proud of himself and his group members for managing to pull through and succeed.
Pillay pointed out that keeping his parents proud is what keeps him pushing for more and aiming to excel at all times.
“Obviously, first it’s good to do it for myself, however, I feel it is important to also keep my parents in mind in all that I do. I feel they have worked so hard over the years to give me the best education and I need to return the favour. It is my way of showing my appreciation to them for their sacrifices, love and support. I really want to make them proud in all that I do,” added Pillay.
His DUT journey has been full of ups and downs; however, he is happy that he was also part of the DUT Tennis team. He feels this was the highlight of his stay at DUT as it kept him fit, with a healthy body which led to a healthy mind. He feels the team ended up becoming like family to him with all their words of encouragement and guidance.
Pillay’s future plans include going as far as he can in the Information Technology field at Old Mutual or any other company that may offer him an opportunity. He is enjoying the work environment at Old Mutual and is happy to be staying in Cape Town.
Pictured: Keenan Pillay.