My time in Zurich

I’ve always imagined as a kid, me travelling the world to see and experience different cultures and places. The one country that I’ve always wanted to visit was Switzerland. I was asked by many of my friends and family, as well as my teachers ‘Why Switzerland?’  and I would simply say “because they were never part of any war and of course... CHOCOLATE!"

Sharna in Zurich

Well, my time finally arrived, and it was an absolute dream come true! I would never forget the day, Dania told me that I would need to go to Switzerland for the 2016 audit and to meet the team. I was so delighted and overwhelmed I thought I was dreaming.  This was of course beyond my wildest dreams, as I’ve never done an audit outside South Africa. I was so grateful for the opportunity, because not only would this wonderful opportunity be educational, but I would also get to see the most unique, most organised country in Europe.  I knew I had very big shoes to fill, as nothing a well-structured and organised audit would be expected.

I was extremely anxious on the plane, as it was my first international flight. Naturally, I envisioned how the country would be and what the people would be like, and of course very nervous, going through all the files and accounts in my head for the auditors. Eventually, when I arrived in Zürich on Saturday 25.02.2016, I knew it had to be another country, as the climate was completely different, and I loved it. It was a lovely sunny day, not too hot with a cool, welcoming breeze. I met Lisa Preisig for the first time in person; it was really nice getting to see someone in person that you only ever saw digitally for the past few months. There were so many lovely places in Zürich, which I toured that weekend, it was spectacular.

Sharna and Lisa Preisig

The Monday I met the rest of Amazee Labs Zurich team and it became clear that when you’re chosen as an Amazee, you’re undoubtedly unique and significant no matter where in the world you are based. And even though we are all unique and significant, we all form part of this one magnificent Amazee puzzle.

On Wednesday the day of the audit arrived. I can’t even remember getting much sleep the previous night, as I kept going through all the things making sure everything is there and also going over and trying to memorise every account in the Balance Sheet and Income Statement. That morning one of the auditors, Peter, came to the office to start the audit process. While he was busy with the audit, he also took some time to give me valuable advice - and it was extremely informative and educational having him there and also doing the audit.

On Thursday another auditor, also named Peter, joined the audit team, and even though it was really hectic, making sure they have everything they requested and still having to do my daily tasks, it was well worth it and I loved the challenge. I was so relieved when they said in our meeting with Dania and Urs that everything went well and was well organised. I felt so accomplished; it was the most amazing feeling.

I also went sightseeing in and around this breathtaking city - the lake, the river, the mountains and the city are all beautiful sights and it’s true that a picture can speak a thousand words because even the best photographs couldn't capture these moments in their entirety. Another fond memory that really stood out for me was an evening of cheese fondue. As soon as you enter the restaurant you are greeted with an overwhelming, yet delicious, cheesy smell that fills the entire room.

 Sharna's Zurich visit   Sharna's cheesy fondue

Thanks to Dania as well for preparing and mentoring me in the build-up to my visit and for her assistance in preparing all the documents for the audit. Special thanks to all my teammates in Zurich for a wonderful and memorable time in Switzerland. I had an incredible time!

March 15, 2017

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