Pieter, an Advisory principal specializing in Security, joined the PwC member firm in South Africa after teaching at the University of Pretoria for three years. He was seconded to the United States firm for a two-year program in 2000 as part of PwC's Global Mobility Program and decided to permanently relocate to the U.S. after completing his tour. Since joining PwC, Pieter has served in various leadership roles within PwC’s Security Practice and in 2012 he was admitted as a principal. Pieter loves to travel and spend time with his wife and three children in Atlanta, GA.
What is it that you enjoy most about your career in Advisory?
A: The types of people we recruit tend to be problem solvers, think outside of the box, and are very smart. I find it personally very rewarding being surrounded by this caliber of people at PwC - it helps us deliver innovative solutions derived from fresh, diverse perspectives, to our clients.
In my role, I deal with a lot of different clients and a lot of different industries, so my day-to-day is dynamic. It’s never a repetition of the same thing. My role and what I do constantly changes because our clients’ environments are different and the IT and security landscape evolves very quickly as well.
I also really enjoy the traveling. I lead the US firm’s Payment Compliance Competency so I work with many other member firms in PwC's global network. For example, I recently spent time in Brazil, the UK, and a number of other countries and I love the global nature of PwC and helping our clients solve problems irrespective of where they are located or where they operate.
What have you learned from your time at PwC?
A: One motto that I live by is to "constantly reinvent yourself and push the envelope of your comfort zone". That has been a key to my success and enables me to have a positive impact on my clients, my colleagues and PwC.
Coming from academia and identifying a new challenge and opportunity for myself is a good example of how I have lived this motto. Additionally, throughout my career there have been various inflection points or milestones where I reinvented myself.
What in your career at PwC US has had the biggest impact on you?
A: I think the move from South Africa to the US had the biggest impact on me personally and professionally. The first year in particular was challenging because of the types of the projects in the US were very different than what I was used to, and I had to learn to consult and interact exclusively in English, which is my second language. I recall finding the cultural nuances exciting, and sometimes challenging to deal with during my transition.
The transition was an incredible growth opportunity for me and the support that I felt from my team, as well as the US firm was crucial to my success. Although it was a challenge, I was really focused on making a success out of it. It was a great opportunity for me to build confidence and that accelerated my growth on a personal and a professional level.
Once you’re done with your day at PwC, what do you like to do outside of the office?
A: When I’m back in town on the weekends, I try to spend as much time as possible with my wife and our three children. We love to camp with our RV and to explore exciting and interesting places.
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