Compassion is the new fashion

Marizelle Pienaar might be scared of encountering a snake, but when opportunity presents itself, she does not stand back for challenges.

06 December 2019 | People

Evany van Wyk

Marizelle Pienaar lives by the motto, “the more you have to do, the more you get done.” She believes in being a balanced individual and taking on all possible opportunities to grow and learn.

Pienaar, the head of analytics and financial risk at Bank Windhoek, has always striven to be a well-rounded individual with participation in a range of events including academics, culture and sport. Her earliest and best childhood memories are playing mathematical and analytical games with her dad and spending many days in nature, rock pools and waterfalls despite her fear of snakes. Born in Johannesburg, her passion for mathematics inspired her to complete a master’s degree in applied mathematics with subjects in nuclear engineering. At the same time, she also completed her teaching degree and her first job in Namibia was as a high school mathematics and science teacher.

“Opportunities present themselves in different ways in life. It’s important to equip yourself in every way to be ready when the opportunity arises,” she says.

For the past seven years, Pienaar has been a part of the financial risk department.

“This year has been an exceptional year of learning and growth with the privilege of joining the Senior Management Development Programme (SMDP) and the Capricorn Group NeXtGen Board,” she explains.

Pienaar was the top-performing student in the challenging six-month SMDP programme.

Being proactive, original when solving problems and exceptionally aware of her surroundings are some of the main traits that are necessary for Pienaar to do her job well. She has to lead her team to excellence by living The Capricorn Way and making sure that everyone has common vision to achieve set goals. In any career challenges are common, but in the case of Pienaar it is bittersweet because she sees it as both a challenge and accomplishment.

“My biggest challenge and accomplishment in my career is leading a team of unique individuals to be an engaged team, who enjoys their jobs and delivers excellence,” says Pienaar.

Her days at the office are filled with learning, research, meetings with various stakeholders, engagements with her team and ensuring that the team delivers. In future, Pienaar would like to develop predictive and prescriptive analytics that enhance customer experience and optimise returns for customers.

When she is not working, Pienaar enjoys spending time with her family, early morning jogs training for the Desert Dash, and baking the occasional birthday or wedding cake. With a strong compassion for her fellow person, Pienaar aims to create a house filled with love and respect for her two young daughters and husband. She always strives to do her best in everything she does and to touch lives while by caring for others.

“I would love to continue learning and growing as a leader and an individual developing both my technical and soft skills continuously. And to quote Albert Einstein: “Try not to become a lady of success, but a lady of value.”

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