I am a 36 years old and hold a Master’s degree in Land and Property Development Management (specializing in Property Valuation) [University of the Free State] and a Bachelor’s degree in Town and Regional Planning (equivalent to Honour’s degree) [University of Pretoria]. I initially obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Town and Regional Planning. At the time, a career in the Built Environment was not common, especially amongst women. My life was mostly orientated around the township (where i resided) and a suburban town where i mostly attended school.  Having to be exposed in both the township and suburban environment for most of my school life, i was always observant and intrigued about how spatially different both areas were.   When i came across an article about career choices and after discussing this with my school teacher and mentor, who identified my strength and passion for geographical spaces, i knew that i wanted to pursue a career in the Built Environment.

After 5 (five) years of experience in Town and Regional Planning, I then decided to further my career to study a Master’s degree in Land and Property Development Management (specializing in Property Valuation). In my career journey, i had crossed paths with very few Property Valuers as my clients, but seldom any women. I realized the gap and need for younger people and women to participate the field. I also noted the overlapping nature and how complementary the two fields are, and the rare advantage of being qualified in both and ‘marrying’ the two professions. I currently work for Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality as a Snr Town and Regional Planner. I have been working for the Council for 9 years.

What drives you / motivates you?

Growth and excellence both personally and professionally. Working in a multi-faceted environment both in the private and public sector has taught me patience with self, endurance with life, the virtue of hard-work and mostly to contribute positively.  Growing up in a society where career and educational opportunities where limited, especially among young women; it is incumbent on us to make use of every opportunity presented in the new dispensation.  The support structures of my family, partner and close friends have always been my greatest cheerleader.

Why did you sign up for the mentorship programme?

Acquiring experiential training as a registered Candidate Valuer and a Property Valuation graduate has proven to be difficult over the years.  Furthermore, it is a challenge for professionals with prior working experience to convert to be professional valuers since many intern opportunities are more aligned to recent graduates. I signed up for the Mentorship program because it provided a structured opportunity to be adequately trained in preparation for the Board Exams, and thus to be registered as a Professional Valuer.

What has it meant for you?

Through the mentorship program, i have been able to expand my professional network with my peers, and with other Property Valuers in different sectors. It has also broadened my understanding of the field; through the attendance of SAIV annual seminars. My plan is to write my Board Exams and becoming a Professional Valuer, while immensely contributing to the Valuation field with the multi-disciplinary professional background i already have.