RENÉ Allen Casey is the group chief internal auditor at VM Group.
Here's how she's managed to seize over 30 years of success in her professional pursuits.
AW: As the chief internal auditor for VM Group, what would be your greatest advice to young women with a similar aspiration?
RAC: I would say go for it. The experience is amazing, your ability to learn is endless. Some of the skills that can be acquired from this career choice include financial operations, risk assessments, strategy, governance, consultancy, information technology and human resource skills, to name a few. On this career path, you will never be unemployed for long. It is pandemic-proof.
AW: You've led at the forefront of many projects for local and regional organisations, what has been the most rewarding part of the over 30 years journey so far?
RAC: On a personal note, I have tried to live by Philippians 2:3-4, 'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.'
It is kind of difficult to say which experience has been the most rewarding; however, two components remain constant for me — having the opportunity to create an environment where team members are treated well and given opportunities for growth. Also, I enjoy being able to provide sound advice to an organisation and seeing the recommendations being implemented, saving the organisation money, and improving efficiency.
AW: Did you ever foresee yourself being at the executive level at the start of your career?
RAC: Actually no. My professional journey started whilst at university, Deloitte offered me a job before graduation. The Deloitte experience was the beginning of my career journey in external auditing, which transpired into consultancy, risk, operations, mobile wallet technology and internal audit. It has been an amazing journey with exposure to several areas of business.
AW: You bring diversity to the industry from business administration to auditing. At what point did you have the conviction that you wanted to enter the financial sector?
RAC: My conviction was nurtured through my multifaceted experience in external auditing. This solid foundation also prepared me to take on several roles. I even took on roles that I had no prior experience in, but I worked at it and gained some of my certifications during those roles. I am especially thankful to the VM Group which continues to facilitate my continued growth and development. I really believe that if I put my mind to something I will achieve it, and it has served me well during my lifelong journey. I take comfort and encouragement from Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
AW: When you're not working, what can we find you doing?
RAC: When I am not working, I am spending quality time with my husband and daughter. We attend worship, conduct Bible studies, mentor young people, listen to music, read and exercise.