Tasneem Karriem

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 Tasneem Karriem, 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. 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed numbers and the challenge it brought with it. As such, after attending a job shadow programme at an audit firm, I knew that the accounting / audit field was for me. 

I was accepted into the BCom Accounting programme at the University of Cape Town in 2014 and was also very privileged to have been accepted onto the Thuthuka Bursary Fund. 

It was at UCT that I obtained my BCom Accounting degree as a first-generation graduate as well as my Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting.  

What attracted you to Mazars? What stood out about the firm? 

When I attended my interview at Mazars, it immediately felt like home. Everyone I had met was incredibly friendly and the atmosphere was welcoming.  

During the interview process I was able to get a glimpse into my future at Mazars, the support I would be receiving and how Mazars would assist in my journey from student to trainee to CA. 

From your perspective, what makes a great leader? 

A great leader is one that can lead by example, is easily approachable and encourages confidence and growth. 

List some of your favourite “she-roes”. 

One of my biggest she-roes is my mom. Among the many life lessons, she has taught me, the biggest is the power of hard work, perseverance, kindness and to never forget to celebrate the little things. 

From your experience within your career thus far, do you have any messages for future female graduates heading into the same field? 

Don’t lose sight of the end goal. You will have good days and you will have bad days, but always try to remember why you started this journey.  

What is the best career advice you have ever received? This could be from a colleague, relative or a lecturer.  

It’s important to remember that there is a learning opportunity in everything that you encounter. Recognise them and learn from them, for these are the things that will mould you into a competent person and CA. 

Share some of your favourite highlights since starting at Mazars. This could be work-related or even everyday interactions with your office colleagues.  

One of my favourite highlights at Mazars was the “Thank you” initiative. This reminded me that at Mazars you are not just a number, but part of a community. This is echoed every day through my interactions with managers and fellow trainees. 

Do you feel the COVID-19 pandemic has changed your view on the general work environment in any way? 

Yes, the pandemic has shown us that remote working is possible. This means that we are wasting less time in traffic and the working day has become more flexible. It however also means that we have fewer opportunities to develop interpersonal skills and we rely on technology has been greater now more than ever. 

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. 

It was important for me to set small daily goals for myself. This ensured that I was able to remain productive, despite the change in the working environment.  It was also challenging separating work-time and leisure-time. It was therefore also important for me to take some time out of the day and spend it technology-free, whether it be playing board games with family members or taking a walk in the garden. 

What do you think the future of audit, tax and advisory looks like in South Africa?  

The world and technology are constantly improving. I foresee that the respective fields will make greater use of technology to improve the manner in which the service is provided. This will include individuals developing the skills to be able to utilise technological advances.