Congrats to our Interns!

Kuda is pleased to announce the placements of three more interns into permanent positions. “Congratulations to Jaime Nel, Asanele Qoqoza and Sihla Manuel on their appointments,” said Kuda CEO Wehann Smith. “They have proved to themselves and us that their futures are bright. I’m delighted to be able to say that we have been tracking their progress and it’s with great pleasure that I can say, on behalf of the whole team, welcome to the Kuda family!”

We caught up with the trio to chart their progress during 2021 at Kuda.

Jaime Nel
Junior Marketing Assistant

Jaime joined Kuda in January – “it was the 6th, I’ll never forget the day!” – and hasn’t looked back. She comes from an equine background and father Juan is a successful racehorse trainer in Gqeberha. She answered a job advert on Facebook and her journey at Kuda had begun.

“This year I honestly believe I have grown so much,” she says. “Looking back, I really can’t compare the person I was in January to who I am now. I’ve got a lot more confidence and am ‘adulting’ better, if you know what I mean?” Then she laughs. It’s a laugh that says she is “home”.

Jaime has been placed in the marketing department and admits, “it’s not a job if it’s a passion, is it? I’ve found my passion in my life and I’m going to keep learning. I want to say a special thank you to Tammi and Gilbert who have been amazing mentors for me over the course of the year.

“I’ve still got so much to learn but am doing so with a smile on my face. The ‘horse side’ of the business comes easier to me than the short-term side does, for instance, but with such amazing colleagues around me I’m determined to make everyone proud and keep flying that Kuda flag.

“I’m very excited. I’d known about Kuda since my show jumping days but to work in the environment is what dreams are made of. The entire staff is so professional and so helpful and sincere. I can’t wait to get started as a full-time Kuda staffer!”

Asanela Qoqoza
Junior Salesforce Developer

Asa received her permanent placement from 1 November 2021 and also feels she has much more to offer. She is excited about the fact that her path has led her to be working in IT. “I started out at Kuda in the underwriting department, before being moved to short claims. Then an opportunity arose. There was an internal project which involved systems development and I put my hand up,” she explains. “I was accepted and that’s where I found I could work my magic.”

And work her magic she has done. “If I have to be totally honest, I feel that I’m now in the area where I can be of most benefit. While I consider myself a people’s person, IT is what I’ve always been interested in.

“The system development is ongoing but it is extremely hands on. At first I found it quite stressful because I was thrown into the deep end a bit. So, it’s been a sharp learning curve, but I’m happy and embracing it. I love a job where my brain is constantly challenged and this one sure does that!”

All in all Asa considers herself to have grown hugely in the past year and makes mention of Gilbert’s influence. “He has been the one who mostly checks up on me and makes sure that I’m living up to expectation.”

Next year Asa is looking forward to when the automated system is fully operational, which will also mean that there are a lot more customer queries to handle. But that can be part of the 2022 story. For now, she is proud of the contribution she has made – and will continue to do.

Sihla Manuel
Junior Underwriter

Sihla has had a real eye-popping year in Cape Town. “It really does make my home town (East London) seem like a small village! But, I’m really enjoying the insurance industry. Every day you have to be on your toes.”
Her appointment is testimony to her work ethic and excellence that now finds herself a permanent part of the Kuda team. “Coming from where I have this has been a huge jump,” she says of her experiences.

“Apart from coming from East London, going from school to varsity to this job has been a huge leap. It has been a huge adjustment, and definitely hasn’t been easy.”

Her experience in the underwriting department has been “very nice. It’s quite a new department so we’ve had to get to know each other but it’s a nice tight team.”

Although the Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions have affected everyone over the past year, Sihla has been able to continue her studies, having signed up for a BA in political studies and industrial psychology. “I completed an entry level 4 in short term insurance this year,” she says, understandably proud of her achievement.

The learning curve however isn’t flattening out just yet. “There’s so much new stuff on a daily basis so you really have to have your A-game with you.”
Her A-game has been strong though – which has led her to having completed a successful internship.

Kuda management and fellow staff members congratulate our three interns on their permanent placements and wish them every success for what lies ahead.

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