Siphamandla Dube

Vicky Sebothoma Company: Hollard Insure
Position: Business Analyst

  1. Why did you choose to enter The Insurance Apprentice? I definitely love a great challenge and having followed the show since its first season in 2016, entering the competition has been a dream. I want to part of an initiative that’s shaking up the insurance industry to recognise up and coming young talent. I chose to enter because I believe that The Insurance Apprentice will afford me the opportunity to learn to adapt to nearly any situation while working under immense pressure, which I believe is a skill worth having in an industry that’s constantly changing. I have seen the great career opportunities that this initiative has provided the apprentices and I am hoping that it will do the same to my career. Also coming from a rural area where not many dreams to come true, I want to demonstrate to my peers back at home that their dreams are valid and that giving up is not an option.
  2. In your mind, what qualities should an ambassador of The Insurance Apprentice have? An Insurance Apprentice ambassador is someone who is current, who is knowledgeable about happenings within the industry. This is an individual who also must understands the importance of learning from previous ambassadors and is also not afraid to ask for guidance from these ambassadors from time to time. I see the ambassador as someone who is not afraid to challenge the status quo. They need to be seen as a leader amongst their peers and in the industry as a whole. The ambassador must be an excellent relationship builder and be relatable as the industry needs to easily identify with the ambassador. It’s important for an ambassador to always see himself as part of the team as they will be representing the entire organisation and not themselves.
  3. Did you choose a career in insurance or did you fall into the industry like so many others? Like many of us do, I fell into the industry by chance, but I chose to stay because of the opportunities that it has afforded me. My story of how I landed in the industry is as follows: I was actually completing my first semester of my honours year and I just realised that I do not see myself working in the mining sector, so I started applying for jobs. I mean, I applied for anything that I could get my hands on. From lab assistance jobs to teaching positions, I would just send my CV. My cousin at the time was completing a graduate program with a multinational broker and one of her friends from Hollard sent her an email that mentioned that Hollard is currently looking for graduates to join the Group. My cousin then forwarded the email to me and I took the risk and applied. Following a call, I was then called in for numerous interviews and I was one of the 10 graduates that were chosen for the program. I have never looked back ever since, and I have been very fortunate to have mentors during my career who played a key role in modelling my growth in the industry.
  4. How important is winning for you? It is highly important. It is very important, but I also realised that it is not everything. Having a winning mentality is great in the sense that it allows one to push their limits which I believe enables growth. Also being victorious brings confidence and hunger for continuous learning to improve oneself. Winning is definitely a great booster as it is validating that you are doing something right. With losing it teaches an important lesson in life, that you need to try again and probably with a different strategy this time. It’s also about what you have learned while you were trying to pick yourself up to give it another try. Loosing allows you to share the mistakes which you have made with your team with the hope that they will not make the same mistakes as you did.
  5. A message to all the TIA sponsors? Thank you for playing a critical role in investing in young talent in our industry. Without your valuable contribution, this initiative would not have been possible!
  6. Advice to yourself about what you should remember and focus on as you are going into the competition. To always stay grounded in the present, to have a clear direction and focus as I go further into the competition. To be open minded to learning from others and giving and receiving constructive feedback. To always remember, why I started, why I entered this competition – to not only further and advance my career but serve as an inspiration to young and upcoming talent to believe and be what they aspire to. This has been a deeply personal journey and to have made it thus far, has been an honour and a privilege. I wait in anticipation for what is about to unfold. Let the competition begin.