Tessa studied at both the University of the Free State (Bachelor of the Arts in Law and Languages) and the Rand Afrikaans University (LLB). Tessa was Registrar to Judges Edeling, Van der Merwe and Lichtenburg at the Bloemfontein High Court.
She served articles at Brugmans where she practiced until 1994 when she started her own practice, Halgryn Attorneys until December 2011. She completed Pupillage at the Johannesburg Bar and was admitted as an Advocate in July 2012. She joined the Island Group in December 2012. She is fully proficient in Afrikaans, English and German. She worked for Steinmuller GmBh in Germany and attended the Southern Sun and Holiday Inn Hotel School Management Course.
She is a keen sportswomen and a Springbok/ Protea netball player. She has provincial colours in netball, swimming, athletics and action netball.