Graciana Mwenyo

Age: 30 • Assistant Manager: Advisory Services CA (Nam) • EY, Namibia

“Never give up on your dreams, no matter the circumstances in your life.”

When faced with challenges many opt to throw in the towel. This young leader encourages us today to not give up on our goals, but rather to always remind ourselves why we started in the first place. Graciana Mwenyo went through challenges in her studies, however she quickly realised that she had to work extra hard for her to accomplish her goals. Today this young leader manages teams at EY Namibia with a focus on forensics and risk assurance to various companies. Read our interview with this young leader below.

1. You are an Assistant Manager: Advisory Services at EY Namibia, what is the scope of your current role?

On a high level, I’m in risk advisory. Apart from the administration work, overall we provide independent assurance that an organisation’s risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively.

2. On many accounts people go through challenges in the process of attaining their goals, what was it like for you?

When I went to university in South Africa, the knowledge gap was very huge. I had to bridge that gap and it was very challenging for me, I had to work three times as hard as my peers in South Africa. The Honours in Accounting was the hardest, you had to pass all 4 subjects in one year and if you failed one you needed to repeat the following year. I had no social life, it was just books. That worked for me and eventually I passed.

The challenges are hurdles in our lives but we should overlook them and ensure that your ultimate goal is achieved.

3. What is the greatest lesson you have learned up to this point in your career?

Never give up on your dreams, no matter the circumstances in your life, always fix your eye on your goal.

4. We can admit that managing ourselves is not always an easy task, how do you manage yourself successfully?

It’s really not easy but the best thing is to have a daily planner, in that way you know exactly what to do and when you don’t achieve your day’s goal try to see if you can’t move it to the next day but ensuring that at least 80% is a daily target.

5. What is the value of internships & networking for young people and what is their role in this regard?

Internship is very valuable for young people in that they get to know what the future career or ambition would be like and if it’s really something that they would like to do still.
Networking helps with fostering relationship with individuals, sharing ideas and also identifying mentors and life coaches.

6. What are the most common mistakes fresh graduates make when they start working?

Spending a lot of money without doing proper planning. One needs to identify at which stage you are in your life and what you want to achieve. Knowing that will determine your spending habits and also disciplining yourself.

7. In your opinion, do you think hard work outweighs talent?

Yes, hard work is more important than talent as talent will only carry one so far. If one is not willing to put in the work to harvest and cultivate their talent, then the talent itself is essentially useless. Therefore, if talent and hard work go hand in hand it provides better results.

8. Some people believe in procrastination in the sense that it allows them enough time to come up with unconventional methods to solve problems, what is your view on this?

I personally believe procrastination is the thief of all time. Delaying work will just result in building up more work load which one can’t handle hence coming up with unconventional method. Thus, it’s more important to put time aside and focus on whatever it is that one has to do without delay to achieve greater results.

9. Finally, if you were to win a million dollars, how would you spend your money?

I would invest half of it and the other half I would pay my bond.