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 Marine Muller, Trainee Accountant from our Pretoria office.
We are always interested in learning more about our trainees. Tell our readers more about yourself and the journey in your particular field.
To tell my story in short, I have always imagined myself in formal workwear and around people. While still in school I was not sure about how I would make it happen, mostly because I was not interested in studying Accounting at first. I got a bit of a nudge from my parents and have been happy with the decision ever since. I really like the experience we gain by auditing different companies as well as learning to work with people from different backgrounds.
What attracted you to Mazars? What stood out about the firm?
I have to admit the day I came for my interview, everyone was so welcoming and I instantly had a warm feeling from the people I saw that day.
What stood out the most and the thing that was also the key factor in choosing Mazars was the opportunities it presented, and the ability to grow within the firm, as well as with the firm. I instantly felt like I would gain the most experience than what would have been possible at other firms. I have not been disappointed with my choice and I can truly say that I am gaining more experience from the work and my colleagues than what I could ever have hoped for.
From your perspective, what makes a great leader?
A great leader is someone who believes in what they represent. I believe it is also someone who knows how to listen, even though the leader leads the team, it should be someone who can listen and adapt the style of leading to suit the situation and still be steadfast in their position as a leader.
List some of your favourite “she-roes”
My mom would be my favourite “she-ro” since she is the perfect example of juggling life and work as well as family. For that matter, I feel all Moms in that sense because they are such great examples for our younger generation.
From your experience within your career thus far, do you have any messages for future female graduates heading into the same field?
Don’t pass up the chance to learn. I think it should be a goal to learn something new every day.
What is the best career advice you have ever received? This could be from a colleague, relative or a lecturer.
To not let an opportunity pass you by. Even if you feel unsure, if there is an opportunity to grow then we must grab it with both hands.
Share some of your favourite highlights since starting at Mazars. This could be work-related or even everyday interactions with your office colleagues.
Definitely the inclusive culture that we have. I am a people’s person and the friendships that have formed in the office is something to look forward to and keeps me going when I had a rough day. What I like about Mazars, and kind of is also part of the reason why I chose Mazars, is that we can work in different industries were at other places we might not be as fortunate.
I am really proud of the way our firm is growing and to be able to be a part of it.
Do you feel the COVID-19 pandemic has changed your view on the general work environment in any way?
Yes, the pandemic has changed my outlook on the work environment completely. It is evident that most of our work could be performed remotely sufficiently. This, however, has taken the “social” factor away, the instances where you could catch up with someone somewhere in the office, the part where you could see you are not the only one who is stressed out or even just the support structure of a smile on your way past someone. This opens up another opportunity to initiate conversation, there is no instance where you are waiting for someone in the coffee line. We have to start checking in with each other out of our own, take a leap and ask someone how their day has been to be able to still keep in touch with the friends we have made in the office.
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.
Yes, I am generally a positive person, but I focused on being healthy and making time for family and friends, whether it is video calls or in-person check-ins it is important. Our mental health and emotional stance in a time like this are very important to me because it will affect the work much more than what it would if we were to go to the office or client every day.
What do you think the future of audit, tax and advisory looks like in South Africa?
Very different. I could see us working more remotely and only going into offices and clients for meetings. I feel like we have all showed that we can perform under unusual circumstances and if this would become the new normal, we could carry on with our work remotely. I am excited to see where this goes and how we will adapt to still provide excellent quality services to our clients.