Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Risk Management
Bachelor of Commerce Honors in Risk Management
My Journey with IRMSA
The Initial Contact
The IRMSA corporate SA internship week: extremely difficult to describe in only a few words. This amazing opportunity started at the Garden Court Hotel in Sandton, were Zandie Nyembe, an IRMSA employee, met us and briefed us about all the events taking place from the 24th to the 28th of November 2016. It was a packed schedule but Zandie made sure that we were informed and ready to start this exciting week of networking and knowledge advancement.
Our first stop for the week was at the beautiful Tsogo Sun, Monte Casino. We were welcomed by a lady called Dianne. She highlighted the importance of keeping record of all the incident forms that took place on the premises of all Tsogo Sun hotels and casinos. Thereafter Giel and Isa, also two employees of Tsogo Sun, took us on a walk-about through most of the Monte Casino premises indicating areas where they have faced and eliminated risk in the past. We ended the day with an audit at the Bird Garden which forced us to think outside the box and identify all possible risks from the consumer- as well as from the employee’s perspective.
Our Second Stop was to visit the Nedbank Head office in Rivonia, Sandton. We were greeted by Eleni Albanis, an Assistant Risk Officer (ERM), at the Group Risk department of Nedbank. She went the extra mile with all three interns ensuring that we were comfortable and “well-fed” throughout the entire day. Numerous employees from different divisions gave presentations regarding various risks that the Bank faces and proposed strategies that they use to overcome them. The thing that I took away from the day spent at Nedbank was the positive energy and enthusiasm from each employee that spoke to us during the day. One of the employees, Sue, who has been with the bank for more than 30 years had a tremendous impact on the way I look at risk today. She shared an inspiring poem with us called, A Doodle at The Edge, by T William Ayot. The way she interpreted this poem had such an inspiring effect on me and shifted my mind-set in a positive manner. Nedbank took us in for the day and we had mixed emotions when leaving short after five pm because. It felt like we already became part of the Nedbank family.
Our third stop was at the Marsh Building also in Rivonia, Sandton. We started the day with a presentation from Stephen Wright who informed us about the company and what they stand for. He shared some of his knowledge with us together with the experience he gained when he was still employed at Barloworld. He has a lot of experience in the field and I consider him as a very knowledgeable individual who has a passion for risk consulting. We then met with Matthew Bezuidenhout, who is at the Valuation Services Practice (VSP) team of Marsh. His presentation covered all of the valuation techniques and procedures used when determining the value of plant equipment for mining orientated companies. It was very interesting because it was something I was not familiar with. We ended the day with dinner at MOYO, Zoo Lake, where we met the rest of the team. The team dynamic and how everyone got along confirmed that Marsh is surely a company where everyone is noticed and respected.
Our fourth visits was at National Treasury in Pretoria. For me personally, this was the one place where I saw how the theory I’ve learned during my University career at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, was converted into real life events and scenarios. Presentations throughout the day covered topics form Public finance up until Asset and Liability Management. We visited almost every single floor in the 27 story building and got introduced to numerous influential employees such as Mark Kuipers who is the Chief Director: Capacity Building Office of the Accountant-General at National Treasury. After our visit at the National Treasury I considered working for the public-sector for the first time in my entire life and it is all thanks to the great impression the staff had on us.
Our fifth and final visit was at Imperial. We met with Bernice Francis, the Group Commercial Executive, at Imperial. She took us to one of the most successful dealership of the group, Audi Centre Sandton. We were not familiar with the fact that Imperial was divided into two sections, logistics and vehicles (dealerships). Bernice explained the role and functions of the company to us with the main focus on the risks and challenges the company had to overcome since opening. We also visited one of Imperial’s new plants where they freeze raw vegetables. It is also transported to the manufacturer and, once received back they redistribute it to numerous outlets. It is a large company and a well know name and it is clear that the employees takes the reputation of the company to heart. The highlight of the week was definitely kept for last when we attended the IRMSA Annual Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony at Kyalami, Midrand. It was one of the most spectacular events I’ve ever attended in my entire life and it was clear that people who attended the function respected the work IRMSA does. From the food to the entertainment, was planned to perfection. The fact that IRMSA CEO, Gillian le Cordeur, called all three interns up to the stage and awarded a certificate to each one of us was the highlight of the highlight for me.
This week gave me a boost in confidence and I got the confirmation I needed to ensure that I was in the right field. I am extremely grateful for this once in a life time opportunity IRMSA gave me and the connections I made during this week. I am only starting my career in 2017 and this opportunity gave me the right mind-set I needed before I start my career and I only have IRMSA to thank for this.
Pictures of my Journey