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 Charne Menin, second year trainee at Mazars in Bloemfontein.
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 Charné Menin a second-year trainee from Mazars in Bloemfontein. I am outgoing, ambitious and driven. I definitely thrive on a challenge. I think this is why I am enjoying being in the audit department - the daily challenges faced are right up in my ally.
I also serve on our office’s social committee and enjoy organising the year-end function, Valentine’s Day surprises, and farewell parties for fellow Mazarians.
My journey as an aspiring CA(SA) started when I noticed my parents being vastly knowledgeable about the financials of the entities where they were employed. This fascinated me.
I completed my degree and honours at the University of the Free State and passed my ITC in 2019. I am currently doing the APT programme in preparation for the APC ahead.
What attracted you to Mazars? What stood out about the firm?
Mazars is definitely the firm which makes you feel part of the Mazarian family.
My first interaction with Mazars was at a sporting day when I was in CTA. The Mazars stall did not have the best, or most exciting game, but all the trainees at the stall were having a blast and interacted with each other as if they were siblings. As a social butterfly this definitely made me notice Mazars. The firm’s growth and exceptional way of adapting to the modern era also made my choice easier.
From your perspective, what makes a great leader?
A great leader is someone who strives to empower aspiring CAs by paying it forward with their knowledge and insights about the profession. A person seen as a great leader, is dynamic, action-orientated in their tasks and takes on challenges with enthusiasm. This person demonstrates good interpersonal skills and is an engaging speaker.
Shows integrity when charting the course for their department or team and in making significant decisions. A great leader also delegates effectively by facilitating teamwork and building trust within a team. A great leader inspires and motivates others by showing what can be achieved, and by recognising even the smallest of achievements of others.
Gratitude is also a characteristic to describe a great leader in my perspective as this person always shows appreciation for hard work. A leader can be seen as great when he/she is approachable and open-minded when an issue or suggestion is brought to their attention.
List some of your favourite “she-roes”.
My mother, as a She-ro is selfless, this absolutely describes my mother, she always puts others first. She is also a caring person and shows passion in every task she takes on. She stands firm in her beliefs and does not waiver from her decisions even when facing harsh criticism and competition.
My athletic coach from high school - she was diagnosed with breast cancer, went through chemo and during this time she never made an excuse to not be at practice. This lady is the definition of courageous and my she-ro.
From your experience within your career thus far, do you have any messages for future female graduates heading into the same field?
As women, we are often seen as inferior to men, but let the following words ensure you that we are definitely not.
Challenging work only comes to those who can handle the pressure and remember that your vast wealth of knowledge and experience is irreplaceable.
What is the best career advice you have ever received? This could be from a colleague, relative or a lecturer.
A colleague, who is a third-year trainee, said to me: “No-one is coming to save you”
Which means when you are struggling, you have to keep going and solve the problem on your own which will also equip you to be the best CA(SA) you can be.
Share some of your favourite highlights since starting at Mazars. This could be work-related or even everyday interactions with your office colleagues.
My favourite highlights since starting at Mazars will be:
One social event where we went to play Bowls. As almost all of my colleagues and I have never played Bowls before, this was quite an interesting event as all of us struggled together and laughed together. The interaction made me realise that all of us are striving for the same goal, in the game and in the working environment – we are trying our best!
The everyday tea times where we can blow off some steam and laugh about our struggles (which never stops).
Do you feel the COVID-19 pandemic has changed your view on the general work environment in any way?
Yes tremendously, communication barriers are not an excuse any more. As the COVID-19 pandemic improved the communication within the general work environment significantly as this is our only way of getting through to others of what’s to happen or what is expected during the time of the pandemic.
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.
As a busy audit schedule and travelling kept me from training, the non-travelling time has enabled me to start with a training programme. The exercise has improved my well-being by getting rid of negative thoughts and blowing off some steam which as a result, kept me focused and motivated on what’s to come.
What do you think the future of audit, tax and advisory looks like in South Africa?
More clients in the future as a result of the technology being so advance which enables us to perform tasks with less time and more accuracy as these departments are mainly influenced by time spend and availability.
More efficient audit, tax and advisory services as employees will spend less time travelling as technology will enable information to be accessible within a blink of an eye.