I applied for a bursary through StudyTrust
and then I was called in by Investec for an interview. The process took four days and included writing tests, doing presentations and attending interviews. After all of that, I was lucky enough to be chosen. They told me on the 23rd December, so it was my Christmas present to myself!
How did you find being a tutor at the University of Pretoria?
There was some conflict initially when I was a teaching assistant working with a lecturer and he humiliated me in front of the students. But you know what? I didn’t retaliate or disrespect him – rather, I let that situation teach me skills like conflict management.
I love teaching, sharing the knowledge that I have with others and empowering people. If you know something, why not teach someone else, or help someone through a struggle? It gave me such satisfaction when my students would tell me that they got an A for a subject.
Did you always want to be an accountant?
No, I wanted to be a doctor and specialise to one day become a cardiologist (I actually applied to study medicine at the University of Free State). But then one day, a friend of mine suggested I go the Chartered Accounting route, so I changed my mind, applied, and here I am today.
How are you finding your role so far?
Sometimes it’s not easy, because I’m the kind of person that really dislikes being incompetent at something. So it’s a challenge accepting the fact that I’m a trainee and I’m here to learn – I’m not here to excel right now. I’m getting all these experiences now so that I can excel in future. My job is ad hoc and can include anything from creating new Excel spreadsheets or printing things off for auditors. I love the fact that each day is different.
If you could give one piece of advice to young people starting their careers, what would it be?
Do your research into the company you want to work for, and ask them questions too when you attend that job interview! You need to make sure that the company you’re interviewing with is going to be the right fit for you, because you don’t want to go to work each day and be miserable. A simple thing like whether or not people greet you in the passage as you’re heading for that interview is important – no one wants to work in a cold, unfriendly environment. Work culture is more important than you realise.