top of page

RISE 2022 - Catching up with the Mentors and Mentees

The IIWC Rise 2022 mentorship program is a few weeks away from completion. We caught up with some of the Mentors and Mentees to hear what they have to share about their journey.

Thinking back to when you started your career - would you say you had good Mentors that attributed to your success and would you encourage your peers to be Mentors in the RISE 2023 Mentorship Program?

Juan Pienaar: Mentor

I started my insurance career in 1995 at a well-known insurer, literally knowing nothing about insurance. Thankfully I had a really good manager who taught me and who I could look up to for guidance. There was no formal mentoring program in place back then, nothing that I knew about anyway. My manager may not even have realised that he was my mentor. Since my first employment I have had many leaders who guided and helped me to develop over the years. I still learn every day.

The Rise Program is an opportunity to give back. We all know that a building requires a good foundation and it is the leaders and mentors that help us to build these foundations in or lives. I would like to encourage my peers to sign up for the Rise Program. Be that mentor to a person that you needed in your career. We all have something to give, and much more than we think. The program is a structure by which we can leave a legacy and a future for our industry. This was my first year participating in the program. When I look at the Mentee’s I’m encouraged and excited about our industry. Watch this space, there are strong passionate leaders rising up!

What are the top three things you achieved being a Mentee in the RISE 2022 Mentorship Program?

Mentee: Donnalee Oliver

The top three things that I've achieved as a mentee in the RISE program are:

1. Confidence. This attribute was challenging for me, I knew I struggled as I was doubting my abilities to thrive but taking part in this mentorship program wasn't just conversations about careers. There were discussions regarding mental, emotional, and physical health and how to better look after yourself. It was realizing that you're not the only individual going through issues and it's okay to not be okay, what matters most is getting back up and doing your best, because in the end that's the only thing you can do.

2. Being unapologetically my true self. Once I started to be confident in who I am and what I stand for, I started developing my own 'brand'. This was a discussion the mentees and one of the RISE leaders had, having your own brand. It is your brand that makes you unique and beautiful.

3. Being afraid of something often leads to becoming stagnant. This stood out for me as it was explained in a picture that depicted a cobra looking at a bird and the bird remained dead still. When we fear something, we would rather do nothing at all than get ourselves out of a specific situation or issue. It becomes easier to just stand still but you can never grow if you stay stagnant.

What is the role of a Mentor?

Mentor: Denzil van der Poel

Using my career and life skills to provide guidance and direction to a young person (Mentee) to help achieve goals, not only on a work platform, but also in life. We bring “hindsight” with us which is an exact science and we can certainly guide the Mentee and be a building block for them and their future.

At the speed-meeting event, was there an immediate connection between you and Denzil?

Mentee: Chante Lekay

I could tell that Denzil’s energy would match mine, full of life! I knew Denzil from previous visits to our office, always a busy guy. I am the same way. We love staying busy, exploring new ways to educate ourselves, and taking on a good challenge.

What advice do you want Siphamandla to carry with him throughout his career?

Mentor: Dryden Doughty

Keep learning – always. Not only in the specific industry or sector, but to broaden one’s knowledge in a spectrum of topics and develop and maintain a good network of people.

What advice would you give to other candidates that want to enter the RISE 2023 Mentorship Program?

Mentee: Siphamandla Mbovane

I have learned that I can do anything that I put my mind to. All one must do is just take the opportunity with both hands. The RISE Mentorship Program is the greatest program that I have ever experienced. I would encourage others to enter the program because it is a great platform, you learn so much, you become exposed to so much more and you have nothing to lose except to broaden your horizons into your career path.

What inspired you to enter the Insurance Industry?

Mentor: Nico Venter

Like many folks in our industry, the Insurance Industry was not my Plan A . I was aiming to work in the Advertising Industry, but when my advertising lecturer, Mr De Groen, informed our class of a temporary position at Hollard Insurance, I jumped at the opportunity, thinking it would only be for the duration of my 3-month practical period. I got the position and ended up staying on permanently, loving the industry and its people!

How did you hear about the RISE 2022 Mentorship Program and what interested you to apply?

Mentee: Shani Griebenow

One of my colleagues, Jessica Carpenter, was a part of this mentorship program in 2021. She told me how amazing Rise is and that I will gain a lot from this program, as I am new in this industry, she thought that this would be a great opportunity to help me make the right decisions for my future. I am grateful for her suggestion and support.

171 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page