“The Internship was a defining moment for me. It unlocked a passion I knew I had but that I was not confident enough to pursue.”
Simonne was born the elder of two siblings in Bishop Lavis, Cape Town. At school she most enjoyed mathematics and problem solving, which sparked a passion for business and finance. She was not much exposed to the outdoor living within her immediate environment growing up, but she vividly remembers outings with her parents to the gardens, beaches and parks around the Cape. From a young age her parents instilled in Simonne the importance of conserving the natural beauty of her country. Simonne holds the position of Graduate Development Officer within the Environmental Leaders Programme at WWF-SA.
Simonne attained a Bachelor of Commerce degree and an Honours degree in Corporate Finance from the University of the Western Cape. She is currently conducting a part-time, research-based Masters degree, which explores the benefits that could result from financial trade within and between Southern African countries.
Simonne’s internship was based in the Finance and Business Support Unit at WWF. As assistant to the Legal and Risk officer, she was responsible for reviewing contracts, drafting certain financial budgets and assisting with risk management processes. The internship was a defining moment for her in that it unlocked a passion for human capacity development and lead to a course correction in her career path. The internship provided Simonne with networking, development and growth opportunities, and she developed strong relationships with her mentor and other interns that endured beyond the end of the internship.
Simonne is currently responsible for the Graduate Development Programme in the WWF-SA Environmental Leaders Programme. She offers training and support for interns and mentors in the programme, and also handles the project management and administration involved. She looks forward to developing human capital in the conservation sector over the course of her career.