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My three-month stint with Moore Stephens in South Africa

Tamara Hohmann Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Moore Stephens Karlsruhe GmbH

Tamara Hohmann Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Moore Stephens Karlsruhe GmbH

When I look back on the past year, my personal highlight was clearly my three-month stint with the Moore Stephens audit team in Durban, South Africa. I wanted to gain professional experience abroad, think outside the box and get to know other work processes and cultures.

It was an easy decision for me to go this route through Moore Stephens. After all, a good network which is designed to provide clients with contacts on an international level can also be used for the employees’ benefit. That it happened to be South Africa was just a coincidence.

At the airport in Durban, I was welcomed with open arms by two colleagues who were strangers up to that point, and I was taken to meet my roommate. Sure, the building was surrounded by an electric fence and I had to go through two other gates before reaching the actual front door of the building. But you get used to these security precautions quickly. Besides, they create a unique sense of community. I felt it especially in my running group, when I would start on running trails in the middle of the pitch-black forest at 5:15 in the morning, equipped with a headlamp, sometimes with more than 100 other people. The one thing I didn’t have to worry about in this group was being attacked. Together with a shared red cappuccino (a cappuccino made with rooibos tea), this was the perfect start to my day.

I was immediately integrated into the office routine and from my first day on the job, I was sent to the client’s location to take part in an audit of financial statements. Moore Stephens has around 60 employees in Durban, including 20 trainees. Although South Africa has eleven official languages, only English was spoken in the office. This, together with the fact that auditing processes are very similar there, made it easier for me to get started and allowed me to immediately begin my “on-the-job training.”

My time in South Africa was an unbelievably valuable experience for me. I can only encourage others to take advantage of such opportunities. At this point I would like to thank Ulrich Freudel (a partner at dhmp Mannheim) and Dunja Krug (Alliance Manager for Moore Stephens Germany) for their terrific support with my project.

 

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