Where on the planet are you currently located: East London, South Africa
So what exactly is your job and how did you go about to achieve that career path:
I studied at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, and am currently in my third year of traineeship towards becoming a chartered accountant. I chose this career path mainly because of the wide variety of opportunities it offers a person – the CA(SA) is not limited to simply auditing, but basically enables a person to pursue any career in business. It provides an added advantage over a straight-forward BCom degree, and is recognised around the world. I also considered actuarial science, but felt that it narrowed my options and limited where I would be able to work and live too much.
What’s a typical working day for you:
Arrive at work, check my mail and sort out admin, discuss any issues with my manager and provide him/her with an update, drive out to the client together with my team, spend the day there auditing (which involves a lot of dealing with client staff and working with my team), go back to the office at 16:30, replicate my work onto the server, check mail, deal with admin, go home.
All jobs have challenges, what would you say are some of yours:
Time pressure and maintaining a healthy work/life balance. There is always a deadline, always more to be done, and if you’re not careful, work can easily eat into your private life.
Where do you see yourself in five years time:
Hmm, tough one…possibly still at the same firm in a managerial position, otherwise maybe in a financial management position at a corporate company.
Do you believe in studying as a key to success in all careers:
In most cases, yes. There are, however, definitely exceptions to this, such as the entrepreneur who pursues a creative new idea and is successful. “Studying” is also a broad term – doing an apprenticeship or attending a technical school is also “studying”. (FirstStep.me notes: Nicely put).
Do you have any career role models that helped motivate your success:
No, not really.
Highlights of your career so far:
Achieving second place in the country in the final qualifying exam, and having this achievement so greatly honoured, respected and rewarded by my firm and IRBA.
Funniest moment of your career so far:
Aaargh, there are so many! Such as travelling to Joburg for work and going out for dinner to a really posh restaurant with my team and getting heat stroke from the outside heaters…wasn’t so funny at the time, but looking back, having a sunburnt face from a heater was pretty hilarious (or sad)…or being ripped off by a Chinese restaurant and having to pay R60 for 1.5 litres of drinking water (and not being able to eat their food)…or on an April Fool’s Day, being told that as part of the audit of the Department of Transport which was going on at the time, we had to audit the Government bus routes, and so on our public holiday we would be required to travel to such places as Mthatha on public buses…speaking of the audit of the Department of Transport, we arrived at work only to find there was no electricity, so we climbed 7 flights of stairs carrying insanely heavy laptop bags and stepped into a puddle of water (the whole floor had flooded), so half of the team went to audit the Department of Correctional Services (i.e. the jail) instead. I got to go home. That was funny. (FirstStep.me: raises eyebrows and looks around to double check if this is not a script for a sitcom!)
Okay serious questions over:
If you weren’t an auditor you would be: an actuary. (FirstStep.me says: fair enough!)
How many countries have you travelled through in the last 5 years:
None. Although I plan to travel next year…
What is your favourite movie, website and book:
Movie: A Beautiful Mind
Website: Google (seriously – you can find out ANYTHING)
Book: Any of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books
If you could live on and have your very own planet what would you name it:
I already live on my own planet. Most of the time, anyway…
Do you have any role models past and present who inspire you:
My parents. They have worked so hard for what they have and have always supported and motivated me, without every pressurizing me. They have excellent values and have raised me well, teaching me to appreciate the things that really count, rather than the materialistic things of the world. They would sacrifice so much for me, without expecting anything in return.
What message do you have for the youth of the world:
Do what you love. And don’t be afraid to work hard and take responsibility for your life…where you land up one day will be largely dependent on your own actions and effort.