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Reinventing careers the new wave

Keanon Fell is working as a fashion merchandise buyer, with his qualification in business. Picture: Supplied

Keanon Fell is working as a fashion merchandise buyer, with his qualification in business. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 28, 2021

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After investing time and money into completing their university studies, Keanon Fell and Juvani Aaron have opted for careers in a different field.

Keanon Fell, 26, has a BCom degree in management studies from UCT but he always wanted to be in the fashion industry to a job as a fashion merchandise buyer for a retail company.

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What started as a bachelor’s of business science degree in actuarial science took many twists and turns over the three years it took him to complete his studies.

“I changed my major after six months to finance with accounting.

After a year and a half, he felt like his study choice was to please others but neglected to pursue his interests.

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“I then changed to a BCom in management studies with a major in economics. It was the most trying three years of my life, but I knew that I had to finish what I started.”

Fell said he knew for a long time that he didn’t want to work in the business sector.

“I chose it because in the coloured community you choose the degree where you know that you are secured to get a good job that pays you a good salary.

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The fashion merchandise buyer said he knew he wanted to work in the fashion industry since Grade 10. But he was grateful for the lessons his degree taught him.

“Something that any logical form of education teaches you is the ability to analyse information, process and make decisions that will assist in the role that you fulfil,” he said.

He added: “Even though I am not directly using what I was taught, it is the mindset moulded during this time that is helping me now.”

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Fell said he has no desire to acquire a qualification in fashion.

“I don't think that I would go back study for a new qualification. I am a creative by nature and all of those crafts are instinctive so I will use the qualifications I have and teach myself the rest.”

Juvani-Aaron is a full-time wedding photographer and a final-year law student at UWC. Picture: Supplied

Juvani Aaron, 23, is a full-time wedding photographer who is in the final year of his LLB degree.

He’s been working as a photographer for the last two years and recently decided to pursue it as a career path.

Aaron said he enjoyed studying law and that despite the challenges, it was very fulfilling.

“It’s nothing like the show How to get away with murder but it had its moments,” he said.

The photographer said he chose not to pursue a career in law when he realised he wasn’t willing to spend the rest of his life bogged down in legalise, burring the midnight oil reading cases or researching foreign law.

“Shooting three weddings in three days or flying to Durban to shoot a destination wedding rarely felt like work the way law did. I may have been physically tired afterwards but I couldn’t wait to wake up the next day and do it all over again,” he said

Aaron said after school, he initially wanted to pursue videography but many people had told him that it would be a waste of his academic skills.

“I decided to put my head down and study law so I could get a good white-collar job but life had different plans for me.”

But Aaron’s law studies haven’t gone to waste and has come in handy, especially when drawing up photography contracts.

“I learnt time management from studying full time which is also definitely needed when you’re a wedding photographer.”

Aaron said he wouldn’t mind working in law in future if he could still do wedding photography in his spare time.

“I don’t think I’ll pursue a qualification in photography. I still learn in other ways and the closest I’d ever get to return to school would be a short course in photography or film.”

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