Double major and university at 16

1 August 2022

Keshav Mahindra
Keshav enrolled in a Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Science with Honours (BCMS(Hons)) at the age of 16.

At 16, Keshav Mahindra enrolled in a double major at the University of Waikato.

After “knocking out a few Year 13 subjects” and receiving University Entrance and NCEA Level 3 in Year 12, Keshav enrolled in a Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Science with Honours (BCMS(Hons)) with a double major in mathematics and finance in 2014.

Applying for tertiary education at 16, Keshav was able to build on his education at Hillcrest High School and move into university study.

“I was really keen on studying at the University of Waikato as it was the only place I could combine my interest in both maths and finance,” he recalls.

He’d also received inside word on the degree.

“My brother graduated with the same qualification in 2010, so I knew all about it and knew it was what I wanted to do.”

It was a bonus that it was close to home, too. Born in New Delhi, Keshav moved to Hamilton at the age of six.

“Something always draws me back to Hamilton; the lack of traffic, accessibility and friendly faces keep me coming back.”

While Keshav admits the double major was a challenge because not many people were doing it - despite there being a demand for finance graduates with advanced mathematical skills - it’s given him a strong foundation in a quantitative area that makes him think analytically and critically.

Keshav works at Deloitte in Hamilton as a senior analyst in their Corporate Finance practice.

Upon finishing his bachelor’s degree, Keshav went on to get his Master of Professional Accounting (MPACCT) within Waikato Management School and landed an internship at the business management consultancy Deloitte in Hamilton in his final year.

He was offered a full-time position after graduation and is now a senior analyst in their Corporate Finance practice.

“I had a great time at university. I could experiment with what I wanted to do through internships, experiences and the range of papers on offer.”

Some of those papers remain a standout to Keshav today, including Machine Learning Algorithms, led by Professor Eibe Frank, econometrics papers taught by Professor John Gibson and Professor Riccardo Scarpa, and his maths papers with Associate Professor Stephen Joe and Dr Tim Stokes.

“Economics lecturers John Gibson and Riccardo Scarpa were both influential as they guided my thinking on what I wanted to do at the time. They also helped me land my first internship at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.”

“Eibe Frank was known to have a rigorous work ethic, but he always had his office door open and had time for our questions. They’re all people I aspired to be like as a student.”

Outside the classroom, Keshav met people from many different backgrounds and high schools, forming key relationships with many he’s still friends with today.

He was also involved in the Computer Student Society (CS3). “There’s this misconception that we’re a bunch of nerds, and to be honest it’s probably true, but we liked going out, partaking in the annual CS3 pub crawl, and sharing stories over a drink or two. These memories helped define my university experience.”

Keshav encouraged people to find what they’re passionate about at university.

“A lot of people take it as a very serious thing, and it is at times, but you have to also have fun with it. Use the experience to figure out who you are and say yes to as many opportunities as you can. You have no idea where it could take you!”

Latest stories

Related stories

Bike Building

Leaders of the future give back to Waikato community

Year 13 students from Waikato and Bay of Plenty secondary schools came together for the…

University Council members at The Pā

University Council visits The Pā

University Council members visited the site of The Pā this week.

University design student collaborates with global creative group

A bright blue avatar created by a University of Waikato design student is on show…

Jennifer Kerr

Waikato alumna recognised for contribution to communities

Director and criminal justice supporter, Jennifer Kerr has been recognised by the University of Waikato…

Clinical approach clinches victory for Waikato at National Case Competition

A team of Waikato Management School (WMS) students are thrilled to have won “massive bragging…

University of Waikato recognises high-achieving alumni

A Supreme Court judge, Māori business leaders and professional directors are being recognised by the…

Callum Saunders

Waikato athletes in Birmingham

Thirteen University of Waikato students and alumni will be competing in this year’s Commonwealth Games…

Leilani Tuala-Warren

Supreme Court judge receives top alumni award from the University of Waikato

Justice Tuala-Warren has used her public profile for good by advocating for social issues within…

Hinerangi Raumati

Governor and Māori business leader acknowledged by University of Waikato

Ms Raumati (Waikato, Ngāti Mutunga) has been recognised by the University of Waikato for her…

Jamie Tuuta

Business leader honoured by University for services to his community

Jamie Tuuta is a busy man. At the age of 19, he was the rangitahi…

Ready, set, cyber challenge

The largest cyber security challenge in New Zealand kicks off this week with students from…

Elise Legarth

Predicting climate change events

Bachelor of Science graduate Elise Legarth hopes her PhD in flood forecasting and hydrometeorology in…