Can you introduce yourself in a sentence?
My name is Shahnaz Simpson-Plummer. I’m 26, a typical Pisces, who loves nature. I’m always smiling, and I enjoy helping others around me.
What’s your role at APEXX?
I’m a Financial Co-ordinator, so I help to look after all aspects of finance from payroll to managing our accounts payable & receivable, putting together financial analysis to help with internall decision making right through to supporting my manager, Sandra Pavlikova who’s one of our Executives with forecasting & budgeting.
We have a fantastic growing team, which is really exciting for us as while we are currently working on our new account system implementation together.
Apart from working at APEXX, What’s the most interesting/unusual job you’ve ever had?
I haven’t had many jobs as I’m still young and have studied, however, I worked at Ford the car dealership as a Junior Accountant, and I loved it. I got to speak with all departments, and it developed my social skills, rather than sitting at my desk which most people think applies when working in Accountancy. I’m a fun bubbly person and I want to lose the taboo of people thinking Accountants are so serious and heads down. We like to have fun too!
What do you like most about APEXX?
The culture. Everyone is approachable. All the employees are involved in each other’s projects and its collaborative. We also host monthly Townhalls where the whole company get together to learn about what each department is working on, it’s really nice to have the opportunity to share what you’ve been working on with your team and also hear about all the hard work everyone else is doing at APEXX.
How to you balance your workload? Any tips for us
My advice would be to try and keep calm when you have a lot on your plate. Prioritise your workload, remember that not every request may be as urgent as it may look on surface so try your best to set people’s expectations with timeframes. Also, sometimes too many tools can be less productive. I live by spreadsheets, however, traditional pen and paperwork best for me to note down minutes from calls and structure my tasks.
What’s been your proudest moment at APEXX so far?
My proudest moment so far is speaking to everyone at Apexx during our Feb 2022 Townhall. Our townhall's are always very interesting and informative so it was great to have a chance to speak during one. Also, with the topic of my section being a new process that I had put together made this an even more proud moment as I was able to have the opportunity to implement something new for Apexx.
You’re currently mentoring an intern who’s a finance graduate, what advice would you give young women looking to pursue a career in finance and tech?
Keep your head up, it can seem difficult and sometimes daunting, however, if you work hard and keep going everything will work out.
It’s healthy to take regular breaks, especially if you are trying to balance work and study life. Staying positive and keeping my mind on the end goal without applying too much pressure helps me succeed.
Are you still studying to be an Accountant?
Yes, I have another three years until I’m a Chartered Accountant with ACCA. My personal goal is to be Chartered before I’m 30 so thankfully that’s still in reach
With this qualification it lets me look at all avenues of finance, I get exposure to auditing, tax etc. so I have multiple strings to my bow.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Being a Chartered Accountant. And hopefully a mentor to young adults working in our industry, to gain their confidence and help them to grow and excel in the same ways my former and current managers have helped me to do.
If you were a Mr/Mrs men character, who would you be? And why?
I would be Mr Happy. He looks so happy doesn’t he haha! One thing people say about me is they can hear my laugh before seeing my face!
How do you define success?
Success to me is feeling content. I think success comes in stages throughout your life and career. I like setting small, realistic goals each month and knowing I’ve achieved them makes me proud.
When you’re not working what can we catch you doing?
Playing with my dog. I’ve got a miniature labradoodle called Nala, who loves long walks and cuddles. There’s nothing better than finishing a long day of work and having a dog to cuddle!
(Nala joined our interview and of course, stole the limelight)
Great interview Shahnaz. It’s been fun!