Siegfried Neumann's path from teacher to MVA Fund project manager

Lifelong learning, perseverance key to success
Siegfried Neumann's career trajectory kicked off with him being the youngest high school teacher in Namibia before becoming a senior project manager at the MVA Fund.
Phillipus Josef
Born and raised in the northern town of Grootfontein, Siegfried Neumann attended Makalani Primary School and eventually matriculated from Paresis Secondary School in Otjiwarongo.
At the tender age of 19, Neumann became the youngest high school teacher in Namibia, teaching at Dr Romanus Kampungu Secondary School in Rundu. This early accomplishment set the stage for what would later become his path of excellence.
Fast-forward to 2005, and the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund had an issue that needed solving – a backlog of approximately twelve thousand (12 000) claims that needed processing.
Coincidentally, this is the same time Neumann joined the organisation as a claims consultant. He was working on a project called Twako, which means 'finish' in Damara/Nama. With a team of dedicated professionals by his side, Neumann was able to conclude the project within a record time of three months.
Following this project, his contract was extended for another three months on another project and in 2006, he was permanently employed as a project manager.
Career rise
Neumann's educational background includes a bachelor's degree in economics (B.Econ) and a master's degree in business administration (MBA), which have both provided a strong foundation for his professional growth. Currently employed by the MVA Fund as a project manager, Neumann is studying towards a certification in programme management (PgMP) through the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Neumann's typical day is packed with tasks and objectives.
Lifelong learner
He motivates teams, leads projects, conducts meetings with teams and stakeholders, schedules and monitors metrics, and much more.
His approach is focused on planning, time management and keeping a close eye on details.
As he himself says: "I am at my best when I have all the necessary resources to implement projects successfully."
Throughout his career, Neumann has achieved many notable milestones. He is proud to have been part of the team that established the fund's offices across Namibia. He was also responsible for coordinating the construction of MVA Fund offices in Windhoek, Otjiwarongo, Ongwediva, Walvis Bay, Keetmanshoop, Rundu and currently in Katima Mulilo.
In his advice to young professionals, Neumann emphasises the importance of venturing outside one's comfort zone, meeting new people, showing up early, becoming a lifelong learner, checking in with one's career objectives once a year, searching for value in feedback or criticism, cultivating perseverance and keeping one's promises.
Neumann says he often finds inspiration from a quote by Ella Fitzgerald: "Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."