Meet Maria Gidley; Affari’s Talent and Wellbeing Manager. Maria has been an Affarian for just over a year now and has been tasked with continuing to develop the Affari culture, which we identify as key to the growth of our exciting business. From sailing around the world to looking after her beloved bunny rabbits, get to know Maria on a personal level!

How did you find your way to Affari?

I attended Nottingham Trent University where I studied psychology. I always aspired to be a psychologist and the brain itself was something I was always intrigued by! However, when I entered my third year of university, I had a stumble and was stuck on what I wanted to do. I’ve always had a ‘sales’ side to my personality, especially being a ‘pro’ eBay seller, so that’s when I considered marketing!

So during this dilemma, I had to find a week placement as a part of my course and the deadline was nearing. I remember one day I was ranting to my driving instructor and asked him if he knew of any marketing businesses in Nottingham. That’s when he directed me to Affari, as my driving instructor is friends with Craig, our MD!

Affari invited me in for an interview, I completed the week placement and at the end of it, I was offered a position for when I finished uni! Over the last year I’ve eventually found a position that fits well with all my skill sets, and that’s how I ended up managing the HR & culture side of Affari.

What are the three best things about yourself?

1 – I have a quirky sense of humour, I’m just a big kid!
2 – But at the same time, I am a good listener – I find that people can easily approach me with any personal issues/troubles they may be having.
3 – Being part of a big family (I’m 1 of 5 sisters); it taught me a lot of morals and values!

What’s one of your best experiences?

One of my sisters and her (now) husband, moved out to Uganda for 4 years to teach in an international school. They’ve traveled to many different places since, but Uganda was the only place that I had the chance to visit them. The place is just mental, but in a good way! The surroundings and the culture are just amazing… if I ever got the chance, I would happily live there!

What other interests do you have other than Affari?

My rabbits – Monty and Pudding! They are the cutest and get pampered way too much.

I’m really, really sad and actually enjoying looking at car insurance and houses, I actually now sort it all out for my family members as I know all the hacks!

Overall, my biggest interest is sailing. I’ve sailed since I was about 10 years old and used to compete; I was actually pretty decent at it! I stopped when I was around 17/18, but I’d love to get back into it.

What’s your favourite quote and why?

The quote I live by is – ‘Everything happens for a reason”, I know it’s really generic but I really do believe in it. When something bad happens and you think the world is ending; eventually you’ll look back at it and be thankful, because everything does tend to happen for a reason.

What’s #1 on your bucket list?

To sail around the world in a catamaran!

What’s one of your pet peeves?

People who can’t aim for the toilet!

If you could swap lives with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?

I’d like to swap with someone who can sing; not anybody specific, just someone with the skill. I’d like to experience what it’s like as my singing voice is awful…

Who is your role model and why?

I have 2… my mom and dad. My mom because despite having 5 kids, it’s never stopped her from working or taking courses and developing herself, she is so strong minded, it’s inspirational. Then my dad, because he’s just so weird, I definitely get my sense of humour from him… I couldn’t have asked for a better upbringing if I’m honest!