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 Theresse Titus, Trainee Accountant at Mazars in Pretoria.
We are always interested in learning more about our trainees. Tell our readers more about yourself and the journey in your particular field.
I’m the eldest child, with a younger sister. Most of my family is from the Northern Cape. I love going there because it’s quiet and peaceful. I love writing poetry, although I haven’t written anything in a while.
This journey has not been all sunshine. There were some potholes to get through due to some personal struggles. Being an A-student in high school and then failing some tests in University was intense. It caused a lot of self-confidence issues and brought about some insecurities. Things I still work on today.
It has been a challenging journey, but interesting.
What attracted you to Mazars? What stood out about the firm?
Honestly, I didn’t know about Mazars until a friend told me about it last year. I was anxious to go to the interview, but that day I learned a lot. The culture of the place drew me in the most. Then meeting the people I might be working with, they made me feel at ease like I was home.
What stood out most was the friendly faces you get to see, the warm welcome, the feeling like people actually want you there and care about you.
From your perspective, what makes a great leader?
Someone who is able to collaborate with different people, whether it be race, culture, backgrounds or even personalities. Someone who tries their absolute best to uplift the people they work with. A great leader is a good listener, is supportive and has a positive impact on those around him/her. A great leader is able to adapt to change, sees every challenge as an opportunity to grow.
List some of your favourite “she-roes”:
- Maya Angelou- she is an amazing poet, with so much depth and honesty. She is inspiring and cultivates a passion in me, and my writing, to be better every day.
- Taraji P Henson- she is such an amazing example of what female empowerment means. She inspires women to be go-getters and to not be afraid of challenges that might stare you dead in the face.
- Caster Semenya- I admire her a lot because of her “No-quit” attitude. She is the perfect example of people being against you and rising up through adversity.
- Miss Universe (Zozibini Tunzi) – She helped me in terms of my self-confidence issues because she decided to be her natural self and redefine beauty worldwide. The kind-hearted nature she has is amazing.
From your experience within your career thus far, do you have any messages for future female graduates heading into the same field?
Believe in yourself and your abilities. Remember that females are important in society. Aspire to be the best version of yourself, because in this world what stands out is authenticity. Never be ashamed to ask for help when you struggle. Successful women acknowledge the fact that sometimes a little assist goes a long way. Surround yourself with fellow Queens who will cheer for you when you rise up, and remember to cheer just as hard for them.
Share some of your favourite highlights since starting at Mazars. This could be work-related or even everyday interactions with your office colleagues.
COVID-19 spoiled most of the times to get to know my fellow colleagues. The highlights would be our induction month and the subsequent first-year drinks. I met amazing people, whom I am so blessed to call friends. I have met amazing mentors who inspire me to do great.
Do you feel the COVID-19 pandemic has changed your view on the general work environment in any way?
I think it proved to our employers that we don’t have to be at the office. However, I must say, I miss the excitement of driving off to a client. Meeting people and just being around humans.
I don’t mind working from home, but having a different scenery to work in opens up your mind beyond the four walls you sleep in. Working from home makes you appreciate the small things, like still earning a salary, you appreciate those small chats with your colleagues.
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.
Breathing exercises, especially when I feel a bit overwhelmed. Taking a couple of minutes to talk and make some jokes with my family easily uplifts my spirit. Making food also helps me relax and gives me time with myself.
What do you think the future of audit, tax and advisory looks like in South Africa?
I think entities are realising that in-office attendance might not be necessary. There is a lot of room for improvement and innovations. We know of some issue in our profession and it is providing us newbies to make a statement and fix what needs fixing. There are threats as a lot more processes are becoming more technologically advanced, but it provides an opportunity for us to prove to society that we are still relevant.