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Women's Month with VisaPak.net

This Women's Month we'd like to introduce you to the Visa ladies here at MDS VisaPak.net. We put together a few questions to give you a view of the women behind the scenes. Here they are, enjoy!

Carla Douglas

National Business Manager
  1. How did you come to work at MDS VisaPak?
  2. I have been in the industry for a while and working with MDS over the years, I got hold of Shaun the CEO and asked to be part of their growing team.

  3. What inspires you?
  4. Being able to pull of the impossible for our clients, those last minute applications that no one is willing to assist with. Seeing the pure joy on our travelers face when they get to make their trips and having them come back to us time and time again and building long lasting relationships with them.

  5. What is your greatest professional achievement?
  6. Joining MDS as the National Business Manager.

  7. What type of environment do you thrive in?
  8. I thrive under pressure and working in Visas there is never a dull day. I love building relationships and working as a team were we are there for each other and motivating each other. Having a fun filled environment where we can laugh off the day’s pressures and start over the next day with a strong and solid mind set.

  9. Describe yourself in three words.
  10. Humble , ambitious, compassionate

  11. Have you travelled? If so, where did you go?
  12. Yes I have travelled, I have been to Portugal, Spain, Mozambique, Angola and Canary Islands.

  13. What are some of the places on your travel bucket list?
  14. I would love to travel to Bali and do their 6 hour hike up their volcano to watch the sun, travel to Finland to see the northern lights, and last but not least I'd like to go kayaking with the Orca whales in Vancouver.

  15. What is one of the most common questions you get asked about Visas?
  16. How do I get a Schengen Visa? What is Schengen Visa?

Lynn Petersen

PE Branch Manager
  1. How did you come to work at MDS VisaPak?
  2. I joined MDS in May 2014. I was asked to ‘temp’ for 3 weeks at the Pretoria branch, excited and happy to announce that I am now part of the Port Elizbeth management team of this amazing company today.

  3. What inspires you?
  4. My greatest professional achievement...

  5. What is your greatest professional achievement?
  6. Most definitely knowing the positive effect I have had and have on staff and colleagues alike over the years, sharing my wealth of knowledge, encouraging others to shine, develop and grow in their careers, how to overcome challenges and remain positive – ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass,it’s about learning to dance in the rain.’ This is one of my favorite mottos in life.
    I am extremely fortunate to be part of a dedicated and hard working team, always willing to go the extra mile, resulting in a profitable business.

  7. What type of environment do you thrive in?
  8. As most Manager’s will agree, we all, and in my case thrive particularly well under pressure, enjoy challenges and if given a task to complete, will ensure it is completed to the best of my ability, resulting in a positive impact on the business.

  9. Describe yourself in three words.
  10. I describe myself as a totally committed, passionate and generous individual.

  11. Have you travelled? If so, where did you go?
  12. I have been fortunate enough to travel most of Europe, England and Wales, Zanzibar, The Canary Isles and Southern Africa.

  13. What are some of the places on your travel bucket list?
  14. I am an avid music fanatic and free spirited, part of my travel bucket list would be to visit the likes of the west coast of America where some of my favourite musicians/bands hail from i.e The Eagles, Santana, Jackson Browne, Journey but to name a few. Southern America, Canada and Alaska also feature high on my travel bucket list.

  15. What is one of the most common questions you get asked about Visas?
  16. One of the most common questions asked about Visas’s – "Please help! I urgently need a visa, how long is the processing time for a visa?"
    Visa’s can be rather a stressful industry to be part of, always working against the clock, time is always of the essence. It is of the utmost importance to keep our customers calm and assured, providing an above average service, allowing them to enjoy their leisure or business trip without any additional hassles.

Cherie Myburg

JHB Branch Manager
  1. How did you come to work at MDS VisaPak?
  2. I had worked at another Visa company and found my passion for it. I had heard of MDS VisaPak and how big it was and the excellent service they offered and I wanted to be a part of it.

  3. What inspires you?
  4. Kindness, and the smile on someone’s face when you are able to provide them with what they thought was impossible.

  5. What is your greatest professional achievement?
  6. Coming back to MDS VisaPak as a VIP consultant and having the confidence that I am able to do my work to the very best of my ability.

  7. What type of environment do you thrive in?
  8. I thrive in a team of communication and diversity. I love learning about people and getting to know who they are and where they are from. I like a peaceful, fun environment where we are connected as one and we can motivate each other and help each other grow almost as a family would

  9. Describe yourself in three words.
  10. Compassionate, dynamic, ambitious.

  11. Have you travelled? If so, where did you go?
  12. I have only travelled around South Africa and Zimbabwe when I was very young.

  13. What are some of the places on your travel bucket list?
  14. I’d love to do the Gorilla walk in Uganda and climb mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

  15. What is one of the most common questions you get asked about Visas?
  16. Mostly: “Do I really need to submit my personal bank statements?”, “How long does a visa take?”, “What is Schengen visa/Where can I use a Schengen visa” and “Do I need a transit visa for the UK”.

Beth Petersen

PTA Branch Manager
  1. How did you come to work at MDS VisaPak?
  2. I started with MDS at the end of September 2013 as the receptionist. Not knowing a lot about the industry, I answered calls and enjoyed the tea breaks.
    At the beginning of 2014 I was promoted to Visa Consultant and my tea breaks turned into Embassy visits.
    In 2015 I was promoted once again to ops supervisor. And finally in 2017 to Branch Manager.
    The people I work with have become an intricate part of my life, we are colleagues but view each other as family. We are a team and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.
    I received a call from one of my former colleagues, they said that there was a position available at MDS and I should apply. After 2 interviews, I received a call from the Branch Manager then, advising I had got the job. I was elated!

  3. What inspires you?
  4. My inspiration comes from the light of my life, my mother. She is my best friend and we are inseparable. She’s the strongest woman I know and I hope one day I am able to go through life, good times and bad, the way she has done.

  5. What is your greatest professional achievement?
  6. My greatest professional achievement would need to be the day I was asked to run the Visa branch in Pretoria. I enjoy every moment of it and the people I work with.

  7. What type of environment do you thrive in?
  8. Thanks to MDS VisaPak, the only environment I will ever thrive in is a fast paced and pressure driven environment. It’s the only environment I’ve come to understand and I thoroughly enjoy it.

  9. Describe yourself in three words.
  10. If I had to describe myself in 3 words, it would probably be entertaining, positive and passionate. There is never a dull moment in my office.

  11. Have you travelled? If so, where did you go?
  12. I have travelled to the UK, Zanzibar, Botswana and recently to Australia. My favourite destination thus far has to be Zanzibar. The island life is definitely one I’d like to explore a lot more.

  13. What are some of the places on your travel bucket list?
  14. I’d love to travel to Switzerland for ‘skiing’ purposes and Croatia for the ‘building sand castle’ purposes. Both countries are on my bucket list. Pictures do speak a thousand words but making my own memories would take a bit of the edge off the wanderlust in my soul.

  15. What is one of the most common questions you get asked about Visas?
  16. The most common question I get asked on a daily basis is if the traveller actually does require a visa, 99% of the time the answer is yes. I also get asked how long the visa process is, unfortunately all embassies differ, but generally 3 weeks.

    I am grateful to be working for a company such as MDS VisaPak and don’t see myself thriving as much as I have anywhere else.

Bianca Drummer

Senior Visa Consultant
  1. Where did you grow up?
  2. Cape Town

  3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  4. Wilted garnish at a restaurant

  5. What's your favourite place in the world?
  6. Blue Whale Resort

  7. What was your favorite TV show when growing up?
  8. Friends

  9. Do you have any strange phobias?
  10. Gecko’s – cant deal with those little things

  11. What is one important skill every person should have?
  12. Communication

  13. What is your favorite sport to watch?
  14. Curling :)

Claudia van der Poll

Office Administrator
  1. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  2. Queuing, I hate waiting Im not patient

  3. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
  4. 36 pairs not including bed slippers...I have an addiction lol!

  5. Describe yourself in three words.
  6. Loud, cheerful and maybe a little annoying

  7. Who is your favorite cartoon character?
  8. Didi, from Dexter’s laboratory...She enjoys annoying her brother, so I relate

  9. At which store would you like to max-out your credit card?
  10. Does it have to be 1 store??? I guess Steve Madden

  11. Do you have any strange phobias?
  12. I don’t like birds, I had an altercation with a pigeon once. It was terrifying

  13. What would be the ultimate gift for you to receive?
  14. Christian Loubotins

Shajeeda Kahn

Senior Visa Consultant
  1. Who is your favorite cartoon character?
  2. Moana

  3. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
  4. Hotwings and Soulfire Sauce

  5. At which store would you like to max-out your credit card?
  6. Adidas

  7. Choose a movie title for the story of your life.
  8. Blockers

  9. What is one important skill every person should have?
  10. Communication skills

  11. What is your favorite outdoor activity?
  12. Cliff diving

  13. If you were famous, what would you be famous for?
  14. Singing

Lisa Felix

Senior Visa Consultant
  1. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  2. If someone asks me “please can I pick your brain?”

  3. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
  4. Too many to count!

  5. Where’s your favorite place in the world?
  6. Zanzibar

  7. Choose a movie title for the story of your life.
  8. A Series of Unfortunate Events

  9. What would be the ultimate gift for you to receive?
  10. 12 day boat cruise to Croatia

  11. Name two things you consider yourself to be very good at.
  12. My job & being a mom

  13. What is your favourite/most used word?
  14. No Comment

Paula Hand

Accounts Administrator
  1. Where did you grow up?
  2. Durban

  3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  4. Taxi drivers who drive in the yellow lane

  5. Where’s your favorite place in the world?
  6. London

  7. At which store would you like to max-out your credit card?
  8. Mr Price Home

  9. What was your favorite TV show when growing up?
  10. Dallas (that shows my age)

  11. What would be the ultimate gift for you to receive?
  12. The keys to a paid for home

  13. What is your favorite outdoor activity?
  14. Walking on the beach

Kayla Ryan

Junior Visa Consultant
  1. Where did you grow up?
  2. Kempton Park

  3. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
  4. 12 pairs

  5. Where’s your favourite place in the world?
  6. Wherever my family is

  7. Who is your favourite cartoon character?
  8. Anastacia

  9. What is one important skill every person should have?
  10. Common-sense

  11. What would be the ultimate gift for you to receive?
  12. An all-paid vacation in Europe

  13. What is one of the things on your bucket list?
  14. Drive my dream car

Megan Andrews

Junior Visa Consultant
  1. Where did you grow up?
  2. I was born whilst living in Booysens Park, however I grew up in the Northern areas of Schauderville

  3. Describe yourself in three words.
  4. Realistic, responsible, hard-working

  5. Who is your favourite cartoon character?
  6. Sofia the First

  7. Choose a movie title for the story of your life
  8. A Nightmare on Elm Street or Rush Hour.

  9. What is one important skill every person should have?
  10. Confidence

  11. Name two things you consider yourself to be very good at.
  12. My job, as well as being a mom

  13. If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?
  14. Kevin Hart (just for laughs)