Who is Stella Mkhize (in exactly 50 words)
IN HER OWN WORDS
I’m a mother, wife, sister, aunt, cousin and friend on the one hand, and a determined, ambitious, capable, smart professional on the other. There’s little time for anything else but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ok, then, how many words do I have left over now? None. Nice!
WHAT OTHERS THINK
- “Stella brings out the best in her team because she leads by example”
- “Stella is stellar”
- “She may have others fooled, but I see right through her, to the real Stella Mkhize: an inspiration to women, an example to men, a downright standup person and a loyal, caring friend.”
Why “Employee of the Month”?
As Team Leader, Stella manages the day-to-day activities of her team, an 8 person surveillance outfit called the “Misfits”. Stella was unanimously nominated for this award by her team. Apart from logging the most billable hours for the month of January, Stella’s team also managed to find 440 hours of their own time to volunteer at the “sporting chance” community development project (the Misfits’ pet cause) — all the while maintaining the highest aggregate customer satisfaction rating of any team at Intertel (9.9/10).
What do you do at Intertel?
I’m a Surveillance Team Leader responsible for coordinating all tactical aspects of our team’s surveillance assignments. When in the field, I’m in radio contact with each team member and have a birds-eye view of where every asset is at all times. I’m blessed to work with an amazing group of professionals who don’t need to be micro-managed or molly-coddled. That frees up my time and allows me to focus on anticipating and preempting (or mitigating) potential challenges my team might encounter.
How did you get to where you are?
I joined Intertel in 2014. As a black female, I had two distinct disadvantages: I had no relevant qualifications and I had no related work experience (hah, you thought I was going to play the race or gender card there didn’t you?). I worked as a surveillance agent for 1+ years, while studing online and attending courses at the Intertel Academy, and in May of 2016, I was promoted to Team Leader.
What are the best and worst parts of the job?
The best parts of the job are while we are in the field. An assignment might last a few minutes or it could take an entire day, but that whole time, we’re all connected… communicating and acting as if we were one being. Its such an amazing experience. For me, the worst parts of the job are after the assignment is completed. There is a lot of “paperwork” (paperless office, but you get the point). Agent debriefs, vehicle and equipment inspections, timesheets, expense reports, requisitions… but hey, that’s why they pay me the big bucks.
What would we be surprised to learn about Stella Mkhize?
Shoo hey, lets think… Ok, here’s one: I absolutely love fishing. Whether its off the shore, on a river bank, out to sea, off the pier, makes no difference. If you really want to see me at my most relaxed, then find me when i’m fishing. I’m originally from the midlands in KZN so trout fishing is something that I knew about from small but I only ever got the hang of it in my twenties. I’ve been deep sea fishing stacks of times and spear fishing once (me no likey). Bet you’d never have guessed that, hey?