School of Accountancy
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

How are trainees experiencing their work?

​​​​​​​​Previous year's trainees had the following to say about their experiences as academic trainee accountants at the School of Accountancy:

Hamman Schoonwinkel

Accountancy SA – October 2023 article

Karl-Hans Oellrich

Aptihire – January 2024 article

Neil de Kock
Accountancy SA – May 2024 article

Alwyn Visser​

“I still feel this was the best year of my life. I ​know many students are afraid that they will "fall behind" with articles if they do academic articles. I felt the year helped me to understand technical concepts better. It is also a good way to transition from being a student into being an adult as you are treated as a peer from day 1 by other staff members. Lecturing and working alongside people who were your lecturers just the year before goes a very long way into developing pervasive skills and maturity. I also do not feel that I have missed out on any experience during articles since a great deal of the work of a trainee in practice is repetitive in nature and I was exposed to everything in the two years of articles that I had after academic articles. I do feel that the skills I had obtained during academic articles often helped me to "hold my own" better with clients than other trainees who went straight to practice after their studies".

Petra Claassen

“Participating in SAICA's Academic Traineeship Programme (ATP) is the best career choice I have made thus far. I would choose to do it again a thousand times over. The ATP provides academic trainees with the opportunity to develop professional and technical skills over and above those that are developed as part of the normal training programme. Although the ATP opens the door to pursuing an academic career, the skills that are developed in this programme are also useful if the trainee later chooses to follow a different career path".

Anet Knoetze

“I absolutely loved my year as AT. You learn a different skillset and are given the opportunity to take complete responsibility for tasks. I also discovered something I previously never thought I would enjoy".

Len Steenkamp

“I completed my Academic Traineeship in 1999 at Stellenbosch University. Being an academic trainee changed my perspective on many dimensions of life. I learned more about myself in a very short period than I probably would have otherwise. Part of that was due to the quick change in roles you make as academic trainee – going from being taught by lecturers to joining those same lecturers as colleagues was quite a ride! Working as an academic trainee is completely different from working as a audit trainee. Not better or worse, just different. For me personally, it did not hold me back in my audit trainee career and I adjusted quickly to the audit environment. I loved every moment of being an academic trainee. I loved teaching and engaging with students, which confirmed my hopes of becoming a lecturer – which I then eventually achieved. Being an academic trainee is not for everybody, but if I had to choose again whether to do it, I would say “Yes" in a heartbeat."

Tess Lubbe

“The ATP changed the entire course of my career. It confirmed a suspicion I had that I may want to teach one day, allowed me to gain two different work experiences during my articles, built up my confidence, and gave me an understanding of what it may be like to be an academic.  I will be forever grateful that I took advantage of this opportunity that led me to the fun, rewarding, and balanced work life I now enjoy."

Armand Bruwer

“The ATP provides one with a strong theoretical and social platform to start the remainder of your training contract, it builds interpersonal skills that sets you apart and gives you the confidence and know-how to lead a team, a class or a project."

Remerta Basson

“I was allocated to the Auditing module during my academic traineeship. The experience certainly enhanced my understanding of auditing fundamentals and increased my proficiency as an auditor. It also made the decision to become an academic easier as I had a better idea of what working as a lecturer entails."

Gretha Steenkamp

“I thoroughly enjoyed my year as an academic trainee at the School of Accountancy! It exposed me to lecturing, students consultations as well as marking - and it turned out that I loved all of these. After the year as academic trainee, I was certain that I wanted to make lecturing my profession".

Adrian Samuels

“The ATP broadens the career options post articles. I highly recommend the ATP to prospective junior lecturers".

Corinna Kirsten

“An excellent opportunity to learn more about and experience academia, especially if you are considering going this route sometime later on in your career".

Professor Pieter Von Wielligh

“Academic traineeship is a wonderful opportunity to experience the world of academia first-hand. It provides many opportunities to develop skills such as public speaking, assessment, mentoring, time management and self management. It is especially useful if you are considering the possibility of an academic career, but certainly not limited to such people".

Amber De Laan

“Being an Academic trainee is a great way to start your career. It is immensely fulfilling to work with people and aid in their growth and development. Make the most of the year by getting involved in the programs of the SOA and of course enjoy it".

Orlando Van Schalkwyk

“If you're passionate about teaching, Academic Articles will feel like a Dream- that's how much you'll enjoy it:)".

Carli Smit:

"I was an Academic Trainee for Management Accounting at Stellenbosch University during 2016. I decided to pursue the academic traineeship as a way to explore whether I would enjoy being a lecturer. The fact that I would miss out on one year of practical experience at an audit firm was a bit of a concern for me, but I reasoned that I could always build up further practical experience after the completion of my articles (e.g., by staying on as an audit manager). Even though I suspected that I would enjoy lecturing, I was surprised at how much I learned about myself during the academic traineeship year. I discovered that I really enjoyed interacting with students, whether one-on-one during consultations or in lectures. I also really enjoyed getting to know the lecturers as colleagues and obtaining guidance from them, both in terms of academic content and “soft skills" (such as presentation skills and time management). Another unexpected benefit was the opportunity to really delve deep into the content that I was teaching. At the end of the year, I had a much deeper understanding of the work compared to how I understood it during my studies. The university is an incredibly supportive place to start your career, even if you do not ultimately become an academic. I've made life-long friends in the process. Although the first six months of my audit articles was a big adjustment, I quickly “caught up" with the other audit trainees and it was clear that the Academic Traineeship gave me a technical advantage in terms of my deeper understanding of the theoretical content. Something that I'd like to see in the programme going forward is more diversity in terms of race, sexual orientation, and disability – I believe that the demographic of our trainees should be an accurate reflection of the South African demographic. Being an Academic Trainee was one of the best career decisions that I've made – I'd do it all over again."


Na die voltooiing van my drie jaar leerlingrekenmeesterskap het ek nou die geleentheid om vir ʼn Groot vier firma oorsee te gaan werk. Die geleentheid sou nie moontlik gewees het, sonder my ondervinding as akademiese klerk by die Skool vir Rekeningkunde nie. Ek wil graag vir Prof. von Wielligh, en die fakulteit, dankie sê vir die geleentheid en heelwaarskynlik die beste jaar van my klerkskap loopbaan. Die ondervinding wat ek opgedoen het tydens die akademiese klerkskap is ongelooflik waardevol en het soveel deure oopgemaak.  Ek beveel gereeld die akademiese klerkskap jaar aan vir vriende en kennisse wat nog besig is met hulle studies!


Academic Clerks (2009)

Beste Dosente

5 jaar gelede het ons hier aangekom – grootoog en onseker oor ons toekoms en "Die Universiteit"... Bang vir die ander "groot studente" wat so seker van hulself lyk en weet waar alles is... nog banger vir die groot lokale met hulle sterk ligte en ysige lugversorging en die heel, heel bangste vir die dosente... die mense wat daar voor in die groot lokale staan en gemaklik praat met groepe van 400 mense... die mense wie verduidelik wat op die slides aangaan – sommer so uit hul kop uit... vir ons was hulle ooms en tannies wat oor die mikrofoon praat en alles weet en ons was erg geïntimideer...

Toe raak ons ouer... Ons verander in "daai groot studente" wat weet waar alles is, wat selfversekerd stap oor die kampus, wat in die Neelsie inkom in groot groepe en hard lag vir die grap wat een nou net vertel het... Ons leer dat dosente nie altyd alles weet nie (al dink party van hulle dat hul doen:-))... Ons vorder deur ons studieloopbaan...

En Honneurs breek aan... Dit voel vir ons of ons van voor af daardie grootoog outjies is wat onseker is oor als en hulself betwyfel... Skielik het ons in die berugte "Honneurslokaal" klas... daardie "Saterdagtoetse" waarvan ons altyd net gehoor het word 'n realiteit... Maar met julle leiding kom ons ook daardeur (net-net)...

En ons begin 2009 om hier te werk... Stap onseker in die gebou in (meer as ooit tevore), word deur die vriendelike blonde sekretaresse begroet wat ons wys waar ons moet wees en waar alles is wat ons sal nodig kry... Ons leer die admin personeel se name en dink ons gaan nooit regtig weet wie is nou Elizna en wie is Annali en wie is Annelise en wie is Miriam en Aletta en Beatrix nie... die dosente raak ons kollegas... en hulle behandel ons so, al dink ons eintlik nogsteeds hulle is celebrities... teetyd in die klein teekamertjie is die "grootbaas" elke dag daar om vriendelik met ons te gesels en ons maak saam geselsies, maar eintlik is ons so bang vir hom dat ons nie weet hoe ons dit het nie... Maar die jaar vorder vinnig en ons raak vertroud met ons omgewing en al hoe meer gemaklik met julle almal... Ons leer julle ken... Weet later wie hou van watter soort grappies, wie se kantore is altyd deurmekaar en wie bring hulle eie koffie werk toe... Ons leer dat julle almal gewone mense is... goeie mense met wie mens kan gesels... mense wat ook gesinne en families en vriende het saam met wie hulle lag en kuier... en ons raak lief vir julle almal... Ons besef ook vir die eerste keer werklik HOE slim dosente regtig is... kry ongelooflik baie respek vir julle – nie net vir julle verskriklike kennis nie, maar ook vir die wonderlike mense wie julle is...

Nou staan ons aan die einde van ons akademiese klerkskap en dit is vir ons swaar om totsiens te sê... Ons sê totsiens vir mense wat ons vriende geraak het.. Ons sê totsiens vir mense saam met wie ons gelag en gesels het... Maar ook vir die mense wat ons virewig sal respekteer omdat hulle ons deur ons universiteitsloopbaan gekry het – iets waarvoor ons vir julle virewig sal dankbaar wees...

Dit is regtig 'n groot voorreg om te kan swot by 'n universiteit – ons weet dit... Maar om by die Universiteit Stellenbosch te kon swot... Dit was die grootste geskenk wat ons ouers ons tot nog toe gegee het... En om by die Departement Rekeningkunde van die US te kon swot... Wel, dit was in een woord: AWESOME... en daar is net een rede daarvoor... en dit is julle – die ouens wat voor in die klas staan. Julle maak die verskil... Nie net omdat julle die kennis oordra nie, maar omdat julle die mense is wie julle is... Mense wat vir hul klasse nogsteeds van Jesus vertel in 'n samelewing waar dit eintlik nie meer die norm is nie... Mense vir wie 'n mens respek kry, net op grond van hoe hulle leef...

Ons sê vir julle dankie, baie dankie... wat 'n voorreg om te kan sê ons is deur julle hande...


Akademiese Klerke...


Liezl Conradie (2008)

Akademiese klerkskap was seker een van my lekkerste jare ooit! Dink dis 'n baie goeie jaar om eers jouself bietjie te vind na die Honneurs-jaar. Honneurs is maar 'n baie moeilike jaar vir die meerderheid mense. Ek het net gevoel ek kan iets in ander mense se lewens beteken...mens weet mos eers waardeur ander gaan as jyself ook daardeur is! Voordat ek die jaar aangepak het,het ek baie getwyfel of ek dit wel moet doen,maar is beslis nie spyt nie. Dink mens kry 'n breër prentjie as 'n klerk wat net in die oudit-professie is. Mens leer die dosente en ander personeel op 'n ander vlak ken. Beslis 'n baie lekker omgewing om in te werk! Dit is wel vir my moeilik om partykeer die oudit-been weer onder die knie te kry,maar ek dink oor 'n paar maande is ek op dieselfde vlak as 'n ander klerk. Wie weet...dalk maak die klerkskap jaar weer 'n deur oop om terug te kom!


Bronwyn Millar (2007)

A year that flies by so incredibly quickly and one that has taught me so much! It's a year that provides you with insight, tests your patience and knowledge and is great fun. I learnt how to trust my instincts, how to enjoy my passion for teaching and to reap the rewards of seeing my students do well! To be able to take the passion I have for financial accounting and to use it to help others is very rewarding. Dis 'n jaar van my lewe wat ek wens langer kon wees. Ek het ook besef dit is wat ek wil doen in die lewe en het vir my 'n deur oopgemaak om in die toekoms terug te kom. Ek het baie goeie tye hier gehad, met die mees ongelooflike mense gewerk en besef daar is niks in hierdie lewe wat ek nie kan doen nie! 'n Mens se vermoëns is onverstaanbaar…


Ed Pienaar (2007)

Ek was vanjaar verantwoordelik vir die Bestuursrek ILP klas, die administrasie van Oudit 288/388 en 378, Bestuursrek 288 en ek het in 'n mindere mate by Finrek 288 uitgehelp. Ek het die jaar baie geniet en ek voel dat ek waardevolle werksondervinding opgedoen het.

Ons het nogals baie interaksie met studente gehad. Die klasgee en hotseat ure was definitief die hoogtepunt vir my omtrent die jaar. 'n Mens moet goed voorberei vir jou klasse en dus sal jou kennisvlakke aansienlik verbeter. (Dis lekker om werk wat jy weens tydsdruk oorsigtelik gedoen ordentelik onder die knie te kry.) My vermoë om voor mense te praat het drasties verbeter. (My eerste klas voor 20 mense was baie stresvol maar ek het later voor klasse van 300 mense gepraat en ek was gemaklik.) Jy leer ook om op jou voete te dink, met studente wat vir jou enige vrae kan vra. Gedurende die Hotseat ure leer jy ook baie studente ken, en dit is 'n goeie gevoel as iemand by jou deur uitstap en jy weet jy het hom gehelp. 

Ek is baie bly dat ek nog 'n jaar op Stellenbosch gehad het en ek voel dat ek baie geleer het wat ek in 'n ander werksomgewing sal kan toepas. As jy dit oorweeg om 'n dosent te word, is dit my opinie dat dit die moeite werd is om 'n jaar se Akademiese klerkskap te doen.

Sterkte met jou besluit.


Jorina Engelbrecht (2007)

Hierdie jaar was 'n ongelooflike ervaring, waartydens ek baie geleer het, nie net van die vakke waarin ek gewerk het nie, ook van myself. As ek nou weer die keuse moes maak sal ek VERSEKER weer akademiese klerkskap doen. Ek het 'n groot liefde vir belasting en het vanjaar die voorreg gehad om die HonsBRek/NDR ILP-klas vir belasting te gee. Om klas te gee was vir my ongelooflik en die feit dat ek my kennis van belasting verder kon verbeter was 'n "added bonus". Ons het ook baie op 'n individuele basis met die studente gewerk dmv die "Hotseat" en om vir 'n student iets te verduidelik en te sien hoe die "liggie" aan gaan en hy/sy iets verstaan is ongelooflik vervullend.​