Keenan Beavis is irrepressible.
From the age of four, he was going door to door, trying to sell bugs he had trapped in a pop bottle, and succeeding on pure charm.
As a teen, he tried — and succeeded at — several online entrepreneurial endeavours. He had his own channel on YouTube in the early 2010s, creating videos that generated over 10 million views. At one point in 2010, his was the 27th most viewed Canadian YouTube Channel.
Later he and a friend ran a successful T-shirt design company.
He learned to harness the power of e-commerce by buying and selling items on eBay.
Currently, he and a friend are considering starting an IT support company. The friend will supply the IT skills, and Beavis will handle sales and strategy.
One of his first questions in conversation is whether you have any good business ideas on the go.
As a leader, Keenan Beavis is inspirational.
The 21-year-old UFV Business student guides young people in after-school recreational programs in Langley. He’s been a lifeguard since his teens, and enjoys teaching both tiny tykes and adults how to swim.
“Working in the recreation field is an excellent way to develop leadership skills,” he notes. “Plus, I get paid to have fun!”
As a Metis and a member of Metis Nation BC, Keenan Beavis is proud of his Aboriginal heritage, something he embraces, shares, and benefits from through his involvement in the Ch’nook Scholars program.
Ch’nook is a leading organization in the development and encouragement of business education for Aboriginal students and professionals. The Scholars program is open to Aboriginal students studying full time in a business program in British Columbia and is inclusive of status and non-status First Nation, Inuit, and Métis students.
Scholars receive $2,000 in scholarships, expense-paid attendance to two provincial gatherings, business cards, professional head-shots, opportunities to attend conferences, meet with industry professionals, and network with other scholars, access to Ch’nook facilitated paid-internship programs, and eligibility for tutoring.
Ch’nook Scholars give back too. Through the Ch’nook cousins program, they mentor Aboriginal youth, helping them build confidence and letting them know about educational opportunities. Ch’nook Scholars are also invited to network with Ch’nook alumni through monthly meet-ups.
Beavis appreciates the financial support provided by the Ch’nook program, but says it’s the connections that are really valuable.
“This program will provide big dividends for me in the future,” he notes. “I am a driven person, and when I attend Ch’nook events, I get surrounded by people who are just as driven. At the events, I get the chance to talk with other motivated people about my studies and business opportunities. I also like providing guidance to younger students.”
Although his entrepreneurial bent and his leadership experience might lead you to think Beavis is headed for a career in marketing or human resources, he is actually focusing on finance and accounting in his Bachelor of Business Administration degree program.
“I like the idea of making my money work for me, and also of helping other people learn to make the most of their investments.”
He enjoys the atmosphere of his UFV classes.
“My experience thus far at UFV has been great. The intimate class sizes have allowed me to develop close relationships with my professors and get the most out of my education. There is great value in being able to ask a question immediately and directly to your teacher.”
“Overall, the profs are very friendly and many go out of their way to talk to you if they see you around campus. Some of my favourites thus far have been Anand Kishore, Dana Landry, Don Dixon, Kevin Dewolde, Sean Parkinson, Samantha Partridge and Ken Li.“
And he’s finding the curriculum is preparing him well for life after university.
“Although sometimes challenging, the content teaches a variety of ways to tackle problems I’m sure to find in the business world and my everyday life. Whether you are presenting business plans to your peers, feeling the pressure of an accounting midterm or learning how to learn for calculus, the UFV business program provides an awesome environment to develop as an individual.”
Dr. Frank Ulbrich, Director of the UFV School of Business, praised Beavis for his work with the Ch’nook program, both as a scholar and a mentor.
“The School of Business is very proud of Keenan’s achievement and recognizes his commitment to education and community engagement.”
Shirley Hardman, Senior Advisor on Indigenous Affairs at UFV, is also proud of UFV’s Chinook Scholar.
“Keenan is such a warm and friendly individual. With such a great personality – he will do well in business!”
The Ch’nook program is administered by the Sauder School of Business at UBC.
Keenan Beavis is eager to collaborate on business ideas and entrepreneurial opportunities. Find him on Linked In or follow him on Instagram at @keenanbeavis.