BIDBI Staff Blog - Annalies Shipley

  • Annalies Shipley
  • 11th September 2015

Hi, I’m Annalies and I am working temporarily as the Finance Manager for BIDBI. Why am I only temporary? Well, my husband and I are expecting our first baby together in December this year.

I am originally from Zimbabwe, where I was born and brought up. I had a wonderful childhood being exposed to incredible birds, animals and scenery. I decided at about 15 that I wanted to be a beauty therapist and was determined to leave school at 16 to go to college. However, my mother persuaded me to stay on to complete my A levels before leaving. (Thank goodness for Mums!)

At 18 I started beauty therapy college and graduated a year later, fortunate to have secured a job with a company that was providing treatments to 5 star safari lodges in Botswana. I spent three wonderful years working in the Chobe – a national park in Botswana that is home to around 60,000 elephants, as well as lion, leopard, hippo and buffalo.

In 2003 my family moved to the UK and in 2004 I followed them. I realized that, although I loved my time in Botswana I did not want to continue to be a beauty therapist and used the change of country as an opportunity to change my career.

I started working in administration and quickly became Office Manager for a recruitment company in Sheffield where I had my first taste of accounts – I was hooked! I joined a company who paid for me to attend college and study for my AAT qualification. Suddenly everything my mother had been trying to teach me made sense (she is an accountant herself). It was a lightbulb moment!

With a taste for accounts I decided that I wanted to study further and in January 2012 I joined Sheffield Forgemasters and enrolled on my very first CIMA course (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). To say I was excited was an understatement, however I came down to earth with a bump within my first few lessons. CIMA was significantly more challenging than AAT and I quickly realized that there would be very little personal time left for the next 3 years, holding down a full time job, maintaining a relationship and trying to include 3 hours of study a night.

2014 was a wonderful year for me. I married my husband and I completed my CIMA studies with first time passes for all 10 exams.  A few months later we had the joy of telling our families we were expecting our little girl.

In August I joined BIDBI and, had it not been that I am pregnant I would have loved to have joined this company on a permanent basis. The team is lovely and has made me feel like one of their own. I hope that you have the pleasure of working with them because they really are a lovely bunch that takes enormous pride in what they do.