Monica Sithole (Senior Brand Manager)
McDonald’s provides opportunities to its employees who show initiative regardless of their background – where there is a will there is most likely a way. Senior Brand Manager Monica Sithole is testimony of how the tiniest spark can carry like wildfire when you have a dream and a focus within McDonald’s.
With her colourful working background in business administration, property and logistics, Monica went in search of a job that would whet her appetite for bigger things. Growing up in Witbank as one of five children and moving to Petersburg with her mother when her parents divorced, she learned her biggest life lesson.
“I discovered that my mother was a very strong woman and that no matter how hard life can be, you can actually stand up on your own feet over and over again and keep persevering,” she shares.
Being a Gemini, she found herself become very jaded in some of her work and she prayed for a job that would be suitable for her and she eventually applied to become a real estate coordinator at McDonald’s.
She was interviewed by the Development Director at McDonald’s, Wilma Maree who mentored her into the role where she eventually became a leasing consultant. In 2005 she enrolled for a marketing course and joined McDonald’s in 2006.
“A marketing consultant position was advertised but I felt that I was not ready for the role. That in itself was a life changing moment because I realised that even though I was hungry to move forward, I was able to know my ability and know when the right time for me to approach such a role would be,” Monica says.
When the person who was hired for the marketing consultant position could not fulfil the role the Corporate Affairs Director at McDonald’s South Africa, Sechaba Motsieloa hinted and motivated Monica to step up to the plate.
“He told me to choose which leadership team member I wanted to report to. I could’ve chosen my own boss who I already had a good working relationship with or, the marketing manager or the marketing director. I chose the marketing director and as afraid as I was, my relationship with him blossomed and I can truly say that Daniel Padiachy was the university I never had,” she says.
Being a brand manager is one of her biggest achievements considering she never obtained the qualifications she wanted. “It means so much to me to finally make it here,” she says.
She enjoys working at McDonald’s because there is always a challenge and the adrenaline makes her feel like she achieved something at the end of each day. “No two days are the same and every day I wake up trying to figure out what that day’s challenge will be,” she adds.
She would advise her younger self to never change but encourage her to recognise her own potential before someone else points it out. The life lessons she had learned from working for the brand is to live, to love and learn and that if she should ever leave she’d be sure to leave a lasting legacy.
For more inspiring stories please visit: http://www.mcdonalds.co.za/istories