Ben Keene

What is your favourite memory of Malvern College?

From sport to drama to expeditions, I have so many happy memories from Malvern. But at the heart of them was being part of a great community, especially at Number 1. I remember one night when we headed out into the yard after prep/hall to discover a fresh dump of snow. We ran to the Senior and dived head first down the steep bank before joining a giant snowball fight with what seemed like most of the school.

What attracted you to your particular career and what do you enjoy most about it?

I’m not sure going to university was the best decision for the start of life after Malvern. It felt like ‘this is what everyone does’ rather than ‘this is right for me.’ But whilst I was trying to figure things out, I started volunteering and then working with a small tourism business which enabled me to travel and lead expeditions. Managing a budget and a group of students for 2-3 month trips around East and West Africa was a real adventure and education. I learnt so much in such a short space of time.

20 years later the themes of that first job are still a big part of what I do: entrepreneurship, making a positive impact, adventures, projects and building communities.

Since then I’ve started and run several businesses and worked with 1000s of people changing to more exciting, purposeful careers and building impact startups.

What part did Malvern College play in giving you the necessary skills for your chosen path?

Looking back, and maybe surprisingly, Malvern taught me about the value of being part of a strong, compassionate community. A community that supports each individual to make the most of their character and curiosities. Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time Malvern also gave me an incredibly privileged start to life that, when I’ve been able to channel effectively, can lead to an exciting and meaningful career.

I’m grateful to all the staff at the school for all the education, guidance and inspiration they gave me.

What are your ambitions?

To play the best part I can in tackling the climate crisis and reducing social inequality through impact businesses. There are so many big challenges and life is short!

What advice would you give to current pupils contemplating entering your field?

You have an amazing opportunity to explore creative and entrepreneurial career paths because you have been given the best possible platform, tools and community to launch from. Recognise your privilege alongside this opportunity and don’t rush or get tied down to a narrow view of what a career might be.

What advice would you give to current pupils about making the most of their time at the school?

Say yes to as many opportunities as you can. Try and get involved with learning and projects that go beyond the private school bubble like volunteering through Duke of Edinburgh or other partnerships that the College is running. Work hard but don’t worry about exams. That’s not what life is measured by. How you look after people, your attitude, following what your passionate about – this is what really matters.