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 Shibu Diketane, Trainee Accountant from our Cape Town 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 Shibu Diketane, originally from Polokwane (Born and bred). I am currently in my 2nd year of articles in the audit department at Mazars, Cape Town office.
I did my undergrad at UWC, and obtained my HonsBcom (CA) (i.e. CTA) at NWU in 2018.
My hobbies include jogging, cooking, and mentoring 3rd year and CTA students.
My journey has been very interesting. I’ve had my highs and my lows. I have learnt and am still learning quite a lot every single day from both seniors and juniors, and I am grateful for this opportunity, to go through the articles experience.
What attracted you to Mazars? What stood out about the firm?
I was initially on the Thuthuka programme, so I got allocated at Mazars by the programme on the completion of my university studies.
What stood out for me at Mazars is the size of the firm. The firm is not too big nor too small for me, as it is a medium-size firm. I did not want to be in a bigger firm where I would feel like I am just a number within the corporate space.
From your perspective, what makes a great leader?
For me, a great leader is a person who knows how to coach and is also willing to learn. A person who discovers and develops individuals, and lastly, a person who supports and backs up a team regardless of the circumstances.
List some of your favourite “she-roes” ( a female hero.)
Maya was an unapologetic, fierce woman, she spoke her mind, and played a role in defending rights of women. (Given that as a country in South Africa, we still suffer from Gender based violence, the world needs more people like Maya). Maya portrayed great leadership qualities where she even mentored individuals like Oprah Winfrey etc.
From your experience within your career thus far, do you have any messages for future female graduates heading into the same field?
My message to female graduates (or anyone for that matter) is to “always believe in your capabilities.”
What is the best career advice you have ever received? This could be from a colleague, relative or a lecturer.
The best career advice I received recently from a colleague was “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
Share some of your favourite highlights since starting at Mazars. This could be work-related or even everyday interactions with your office colleagues.
I have met amazing people over the past 19months.
I have learnt so much about different tribes, culture, managing styles at Mazars, and the different industries I got exposed to.
I have learnt a lot about myself as well and have built my character through some of the things that I have been through.
Do you feel the COVID-19 pandemic has changed your view on the general work environment in any way?
Working from home for the past 3 or 4 months has been quite interesting, given that it’s something new for the firm as a whole.
I found that guiding and leading my first years on my audits was a bit of a challenge, because it’s hard to tell whether they understand through the discussions we have/ read the body language because everything is basically done over skype/Microsoft teams etc.
It has also been a bit of a challenge to step away from the laptop after work…. (As I am typing now after work)
But I must say, I am enjoying it because I get to wake up a bit late (I love my sleep), am never stuck in traffic and I actually get a lot done because there are fewer distractions.
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 maintain motivation by reminding myself how fortunate I am to still be employed during this pandemic, and am still able to do my work from home.
How I cope with certain challenges on my day-to-day basis is through Prayer. I start off my day with Prayer, and I have also learnt to do daily reflection at the end of each day. (I.e. more like reflecting on the things that I’ve learnt in the day, pointing out my highlights of the day etc)
What do you think the future of audit, tax and advisory looks like in South Africa?
I see accountants/auditors/consultant etc, being more involved in their engagements. (In audit specifically, given that there is also a new standard ISQM1, also the way IRBA is reviewing engagements, I see firms focusing on delivering quality work more than quantity.)
I also see insightful CAs/consultants etc, because, at the moment, I believe that the firms are equipping their trainees well enough with the available resources, to prepare their trainees for the 4IR, which is expected around 2025.