Home Articles Special Report – The best of the best

Special Report – The best of the best

217
0
SHARE

The seven candidates on the honours roll (candidates who achieved over 70 per cent)

PLACE

NAMEFIRM

1

Avinash Ramsukh*Old Mutual Ltd

2

Eihorere Nkizire WesigyeInvestec Bank Ltd

3

Jade Katherine MisplonInvestec Bank Ltd

4

Michael Ian OrdInvestec Bank Ltd

5

Timothy James NobleNedbank Ltd

6

Jan Roodt BothaFirstRand Bank Ltd

7

Yvette de WitInvestec Bank Ltd

* With honours (over 75 per cent).

1. AVINASH RAMSUKH (OLD MUTUAL)

What/who inspired you to become a CA(SA)?

My desire to become a CA(SA) was derived from many sources and personal experiences. Encapsulated in this was the desire to live a happy and fulfilling life by doing something that I enjoy and something that would help me to realise my full potential. I discovered an interest for business and accounting while still at school and studying towards a CA(SA) qualification seemed like the clear career choice.

 

How did you celebrate?

I was with my family when I received the results and the feeling of making them proud and bringing honour to the family was a celebration in itself – although I was also treated to an elegant lunch and a small party with friends.

How do you give back?

I mentor and have tutored students on the Old Mutual bursary programme who are currently studying towards a CA(SA) qualification. I have two mentees with whom I share my past experiences and assist them in any way that I can. This generally involves career discussions and ways to deal with the various pressures faced by university students.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

One of my senior colleagues once told me that in order to bend the world, you need to be able to fail, push beyond your comfort zone and create options for yourself.

What advice do you have for aspiring students?

The path to becoming a CA(SA) is long and challenging but the end result creates a myriad of opportunities that makes it worth every minute of effort. You will face bumpy roads along the journey but perseverance and discipline will help you to overcome these hurdles and open up many doors for yourself.

How did your company support you in this journey?

Old Mutual has been supportive from the beginning by funding my tertiary education via the TOPP bursary programme and providing exceptional exposure around the business. The interest shown by mentors and some ex-trainees and managers in developing others is commendable and has certainly supported my successes.

Knowing what you know now … Would you have done things differently?No, I would not have done anything differently. My studies and articles have both been a pleasant experience and I have no regrets. I’m looking forward to completing my articles this year and achieving my goal of becoming a CA(SA) and then taking on new challenges.

 

 

2. EIHORERE NKIZIRE WESIGYE (INVESTEC)

What/who inspired you to become a CA(SA)?

My journey to becoming a CA(SA) was unorthodox. I initially intended to become an artist or architect but was fortunate to receive funding to pursue my studies in chartered accountancy. What inspired me to pursue the qualification was my strong interest in commerce and the opportunities that accounting would offer in broadening my understanding of business.

How do you give back?

I give back through different platforms where I am a mentor to students or other prospective chartered accountants. I am also involved in initiatives where I tutor tertiary level and high-school students in accounting. For the past two years I have been tutoring fourth-year students at Jubilee Hall, a residence at Wits University.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

To never forget where you come from and the people that got you there. In my home country (Uganda) we have a saying that: “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” This serves as a continuous reminder that not only am I a product of the community, but in my own way I can shape the community.

How did your company support you in this journey?

Investec has been very supportive. The training programme provides immense opportunities to gain strong practical and geographic experience. As trainees, we received extensive board support (including a QEII board preparation day and a course on ethics) and sufficient scope to take leave. This was in addition to our dedicated training on the programme and within the different business units.

 

3. JADE KATHERINE MISPLON (INVESTEC)

What/who inspired you to become a CA(SA)?

My path to becoming a CA(SA) was unintentional. After school and a gap year I was unsure what I wanted to study; however, I was motivated by strong Accounting marks in Matric and parents who saw the opportunities for CAs(SA) in South Africa and I registered for Business Science Finance (CA Option). As the course progressed, I found I really enjoyed Accounting, as well as the Finance aspect of the course, and in the end stuck with it.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

To ‘back’ myself. That is to acknowledge my strengths, know my weaknesses, identify what I want and go for it.

Who do you look up to, and why?

Major players in South African corporates who have built businesses from the ground into multinational companies which are driving growth in the economy today as a result of their efforts over many years.

Knowing what you know now … Would you have done things differently?

Definitely not. Each decision, after registering for Business Science, was carefully considered in order to find myself where I am today. Sometimes things didn’t go the way I wanted them to, but that’s not something I could have changed.

 

 

4. MICHAEL IAN ORD (INVESTEC)

What is your dream for your future?

To be successful in the career I pursue and happy in the life I lead. Ultimately, I would like to find myself in a position whereby I could make a positive contribution to South Africa. This country has afforded me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had elsewhere. One day, I would like to be able to say that I had a positive influence on the country and its people.

How did you celebrate?

I celebrated the results with some drinks with my friends and family. That’s what I’ve been told!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Don’t take life to seriously, you’ll never get out alive.” More of a quote than advice, but it’s something I always try to keep in mind. It really is important to maintain a balance between work, friends and family, and fun. There is obviously always times when you need to put your head down and work, but it’s important to be able to take a step back every now and again and relax – have a jol. I’ve always found it important to be able to step away and clear my head.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I really have no idea. Ultimately I’d like to be running my own business. Ask me again in nine years and I might have a better answer.

 

5. TIMOTHY JAMES NOBLE (NEDBANK)

What/who inspired you to become a CA(SA)?

I come from a family of CAs(SA) – both my parents qualified as CAs(SA) back in their day and my oldest brother is also a CA(SA). I looked up to my oldest brother with regards to my career from early high school when he went off to study Business Science (Finance CA) at UCT, which is when I started aligning my goals to that end.

How did you celebrate?

At results time I celebrated with my fellow trainees at an organised lunch. After lunch I met friends from other institutions who had also passed for celebratory drinks, of which there were many.

How do you give back?

Charity is an extremely important part of my life. I think it’s great that so many young people are getting increasingly involved in giving to those less fortunate than themselves and I make a concerted effort to do the same. Other than contributing to a Nedbank charity on a monthly basis, I am one of the founding members of the Dirty Seagulls Foundation. This charity illustrates how easy it can be for a few friends from privileged backgrounds to collectively make a difference.

Who do you look up to, why?

I generally draw inspiration from my family at home. I admire my father because he came from very humble beginnings and he is now the most senior partner in his audit firm and was able to send his four kids to leading universities. I admire my mother because she was the only female in KwaZulu-Natal who qualified as a CA(SA) in her year. I admire my sister because she is a pioneer in her field. I look up to both of my brothers because they are both so skilled in their respective professions and that inspires me to better myself.

How did your company support you in this journey?

The Nedbank CA Training Programme is extremely supportive. The programme provides a great platform for us to flourish and we have constant backing from our management team. This kind of support has made my entire training contract period a memorable experience, both from the close relationships I have formed and especially my professional development.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully I’ll be working in either of the corporate finance or asset management fields, as these are the areas I have recently found I am passionate about. If I think back to where I was ten years ago and how much I have learnt since then, being in either of those areas with another ten years’ worth of learning from the kind of people I currently work with (in corporate finance) is an exciting prospect for me.

Knowing what you know now … Would you have done things differently?

I probably could have worked a bit harder at university … But having said that, I have had a great journey and I could argue that I wouldn’t be where I am today without that exact path. I am very happy with where I am at the moment, so no, I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

 

6. JAN ROODT BOTHA (FIRSTRAND)

What/who inspired you to become a CA(SA)?

I have been involved in IT for almost 20 years. I was working for a risk management software company when I realised that I would rather play a more strategic role in business and would prefer an executive position. Unfortunately, computer programming is not the greatest path to the boardroom, unless you are Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates and I don’t live for programming anymore! I had a look at the boards of all the blue chip companies on the JSE, specifically banks, and realised that most of the directors are CAs(SA), attorneys, engineers and an MBA or two. I enjoy accounting and the CA(SA) qualification is very well rounded. Ethics is one of the most important values of a CA and this was, therefore, my first choice.

What is your dream for your future?

To be the CEO of a large company that has the ability to make a big difference in people’s lives. That is why I enjoy banking and working for the FirstRand Group.

How did you celebrate?

I went home and spent the evening with my family, which includes my baby son who was born on 2 February.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Life is short and you only have one. Live it! Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

Who do you look up to, and why?

Sizwe Nxasana, Johan Burger and Andries du Toit. All are CAs(SA) and have a great knowledge of banking. You are also given the freedom to do or try anything (within reason, of course). They are always willing to give advice and it is because of them and others like them in FirstRand that I was able to do what I did.

What advice do you have for aspiring students?

Nothing beats hard work. Remember that procrastination is the killer of dreams. Don’t wake up one day when you are sixty and realise that, because you didn’t take the first step, you haven’t achieved your dreams. It is never too late to start.

Knowing what you know now … Would you have done things differently?

I would have completed my degree and become a CA(SA) when I was in my twenties. Although I have a background in IT that few CAs may have, I can’t help wondering where I would be if I had become a CA earlier.

 

 

7. YVETTE DE WIT (INVESTEC)

How did you celebrate?

I think I’m still celebrating! Investec held a celebratory drinks party for all the trainees, attended by all our managers and senior Investec staff – we had a pretty good party!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

To dream by night is to escape your life, to dream by day is to make it happen.

What advice do you have for aspiring students?

Byt vas!

How did your company support you in this journey?

Investec offered great support in the form of practical and simulated exposure to the subject matter through the various six-month rotations in the bank. In addition, Investec provided us with adequate leave, exam technique training courses and a revision workshop where we discussed past examination papers. Investec is a great company to work for – and the assistance they gave us reflects in the results our group achieved!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

With a successful career and a family – possibly based internationally, but I wouldn’t mind being here in Johannesburg either!

Knowing what you know now … Would you have done things differently?

I wouldn’t have done anything differently. ❐

Author: Yuven Gounden; Photography: BrightLiquidLight

Share this entry