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 Olwethu Gojo, Trainee Accountant from our Plettenberg Bay office.
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 hardworking, eager-to-learn and purpose-driven individual. A resilient, aspiring CA who is dynamic and emotionally intelligent. I am currently doing my 3rd year of articles at the Mazars Plett office.
What attracted you to Mazars? What stood out about the firm?
The values of the firm really resonated with me. I wanted to be a part of professionals who demonstrate integrity, responsibility, diversity and respect, technical excellence, independence and stewardship. So much so that if I remain in Audit after this year, it will certainly be with Mazars. I liked that Mazars finds its strength in its people and that it values diversity.
Also, I liked that it is a medium-sized firm where I would get personal attention and still get access to huge resources and experience through working with clients from a variety of industries.
From your perspective, what makes a great leader?
A great leader is someone who inspires people to do better, who is able to manage their emotions, someone who is fair and doesn’t show favouritism, someone who empathises with their subordinates and someone who is an effective communicator. All these qualities I have seen in Lorraine van Jaarsveldt our Partner in Plett. It is through observing her leadership that I became able to define what a great leader is for me.
List some of your favourite “she-roes” (a female hero) Why have they inspired you?
My late grandmother who was also my role model. She inspired me by her resilience. She had a very tough life and upbringing but she never gave up. She worked hard and she was very present in my life and she was never changed by the hardships that she encountered throughout her life.
From your experience within your career thus far, do you have any messages for future female graduates heading into the same field?
I would advise them to have a very strong conviction that this is what they want to do and that they should be able to motivate themselves. I would tell them that it gets really tough and I would encourage them to keep on keeping on!
What is the best career advice you have ever received? This could be from a colleague, relative or a lecturer.
Do something that you love because you spend most of your time at work and if you love something you will be good at it.
Share some of your favourite highlights since starting at Mazars.
When we went to the budget speech last year and were updated on the budget and its effect on tax. Clients were invited and it was a great opportunity to network and interact with clients in a more social environment.
Do you feel the COVID-19 pandemic has changed your view on the general work environment in any way?
Yes. The pandemic has made me realise that we are in a very dynamic field of work and that it is very important to be adaptable.
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 kept my eyes on the prize, which is to finish my articles and kick-off my career. I shut out the noise and the panic and just kept on. Every day I remind myself why I am doing this.
What do you think the future of audit, tax and advisory looks like in South Africa?
I think that the changes that are taking place in terms of how clients conduct their work will result in a more efficient audit, tax and advisory services. Because systems are being more computerised we will use more CAATS in conducting our engagements.