New Beginnings

The role of a human resources practitioner is to contribute to a company’s staff morale and wellbeing, says Bianca Strauss of Sanlam Namibia.

09 August 2019 | People

MICHELLINE NAWATISES





Bianca Strauss recently joined Sanlam Namibia as human resources consultant after leaving Momentum Metropolitan (MMI) Holdings Namibia.

Her role in this position is to effectively deal with specified HR functions for the Group and to provide an advisory and consultancy service to staff and management on a range of human resources matters, procedures and policies consistent with human resources best practices.

The ambitious Strauss completed her primary and secondary education in Swakopmund, where she was born and raised. In 2011 she started studying at the Polytechnic of Namibia, now known as the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in human resources management in 2014 and then pursued a post-graduate qualification. In 2017 she received an honours degree in human resources management at NUST.

Strauss says what is most fascinating about her new job is the company culture and how her role as human resources consultant contributes to the overall wellbeing of the staff and increases the employee morale that influences the strong brand and public perception that Sanlam is known for.

“I am always excited to come to work and do my best to serve all Sanlam employees to the best of my abilities,” she says.

When asked about her long-term goals, she said she wishes to pursue a master’s degree in human resources management.

“I believe that in order to grow, one should keep learning and I want to do just that. I believe that this will allow me to elevate my career to a senior management position in the near future.”

Strauss would like to be known as someone that staff members can depend on for all their human resources needs in the company.

She says her typical day at work is hectic as working in this kind of position can be very demanding. People want to know and understand all policies and procedures that affect them and their families.

“It is my duty to ensure that all employees who enter my office are assisted and provided with the necessary information they need,” she says.

“A day in HR can thus be very unpredictable because you are serving people. With this in mind though, flexibility is very important because our ‘clients’, the employees, come first.”

The highlight of her career was when she did her internship at Metropolitan Namibia. It was her first experience of the corporate world and as an intern she learned to appreciate every challenge as an opportunity to propel one further in one’s career.

“Life is all about your attitude and it determines your career path,” she says.

It is challenging to adapt to a new work environment and new processes, but she always tries to keep a positive mind-set and make the best of every obstacle she is faced with.

She plans to contribute her knowledge and skills to Sanlam Namibia’s vision and mission by making an impact in her daily duties when serving staff members.

In her free time, Strauss enjoys spending time with those she loves.

“My family is very dear to my heart. I come from a very close-knit family so I enjoy spending time with my family and friends when I am not working,” she says.

He dream is to use her skills as human resources practitioner to teach young people how to prepare for the world of work once they complete grade 12.

“With the alarming unemployment rate in the country I know I can do more to contribute to upskilling the youth on how to approach potential employers, as it would make a difference in the lives of so many young individuals,” she states.

She recalls when she was job hunting straight out of university and thinks about all the things she could have done differently.

“If I had the basic knowledge of how to present myself on my resume and how to conduct myself when invited for an interview, I would have been much more confident in my job hunting,” Strauss says.

In her interactions with young people looking for work, she is aware of the small and big mistakes they make which often cost them job opportunities.

One thing Strauss wishes she knew how to do, is how to create more job opportunities for the technically inclined and academically challenged individuals who wish to contribute to society.

Asked what her greatest fear is, she said she tries to live life without fear. “I believe that whatever we fear we can overcome. I try and face my fears as much as possible because there are endless possibilities that lie beyond our fears,” she says.

Strauss goes down memory lane and recalls the best phase in her life was when she was a young student fresh out of high school with limited responsibilities. Strauss says young people need to realise that even in these difficult economic times, the youth have endless opportunities for wealth creation. “It is up to us as young people to create opportunities for ourselves and our peers. We also need to start thinking of not just being job seeks but as entrepreneurs”.

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