The month of August is dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating all women. We pay special tribute to more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in August 1956.
In acknowledgement, we interviewed a few of our Mazarian trainees across the country. They spoke to us about their inspirations, how they got into the field and much more.
Meet Alisandra Ncancashe, Trainee Accountant at Mazars in PE.
We are always interested in learning more about our trainees. Tell our readers more about yourself and the journey in your particular field.
I am a third-year trainee accountant, I studied at NMU and currently furthering my studies at UNISA. I was born and raised in Johannesburg. I love cooking but I hate washing dishes.
I am a very honest and down to earth person. I am talkative and friendly but my face may say otherwise.
What attracted you to Mazars? What stood out about the firm?
Because it is a small firm and I felt like it would be a perfect place to learn. I was also attracted to the Mazars culture.
From your perspective, what makes a great leader?
I think being a great leader means that you are a visionary, you have integrity and honesty.
It means that you have some form of self-awareness, meaning that you know your strengths and weaknesses and you do not only rely on yourself. Being a great leader means that you know that you cannot do everything by yourself and you are not always right. The best leaders know that they need to respect the opinions of the people they are leading.
List some of your favourite “she-roes”:
One that comes to mind is one of my colleagues, Silindile Hewena. I don’t know she does it but she is a mother to a beautiful 3-year old, a student (ITC candidate), Assistant Manager and our very own “go-to person”. She is always willing to help, always makes sure that you understand what you are doing. She is also incredibly intelligent and has an amazing heart.
From your experience within your career thus far, do you have any messages for future female graduates heading into the same field?
Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams. Take every failure as an opportunity to learn and be patient with yourself, you will get there.
What is the best career advice you have ever received? This could be from a colleague, relative or a lecturer.
Remember why you are doing what you are doing. It will get hard sometimes but when you know why you started you will be able to get back up no matter what.
Share some of your favourite highlights since starting at Mazars. This could be work-related or even everyday interactions with your office colleagues.
We all love takeaways, it takes one person to say ‘let’s order something to eat’ and next thing Uber eats is outside and the whole audit department is having pizza instead of the food that was packed for lunch.
Do you feel the COVID-19 pandemic has changed your view on the general work environment in any way?
Covid-19 pandemic showed me that your job is not safe, nothing is certain, things can change in a matter of seconds. Always have a little saved up.
How have you maintained focus and motivation in the face of changes brought by the pandemic? Highlight something important during your day-to-day that helps you cope with certain challenges.
I love cooking it keeps me sane, especially during this tough time, I have learnt to make new things, the occasional phone call with a friend to catch up and daily gym sessions have helped me cope.
My manager also advised me to take a break every now and then and go outside and get some fresh air, that helps to refresh my mind.
What do you think the future of audit, tax and advisory looks like in South Africa?
One thing I have learnt during this pandemic is that audit, tax and advisory are essential services. So no matter what happens these financial services are always in need. These services play a big role in the economy.