I started my career at the World Trade Centers Association, while doing my master’s at the University of Illinois. We would often be visited by auditors and I became inspired by the professional approach and positive attitudes they displayed, so I joined PwC.

After 11 years I decided to take up a position in the oil and gas sector, and in 2014 I joined the SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic) Turkey group of companies.

Instead of just one individual influencing my career, I recognise the positive traits of everyone around me. Anyone can influence me if they do things that broaden my knowledge and wisdom.

I have four children so working from home is like being in a crowded call centre

As an auditor, I regularly saw circumstances in which finance teams positively contributed to the success of a company. This inspired me to join SOCAR, and the experience has far exceeded my expectations.

The ability to step out of one’s comfort zone is essential in today’s finance world. The speed of change is so great that, without an agile mindset, survival is virtually impossible.

I wish I had the power to change the design of university education. Often it does not address the needs of the business world, with too much classroom time and limited ‘hands-on’ or practical education being delivered.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many challenges requiring agile management and has heightened the importance of maintaining team spirit. We adapted our operations quickly. Just one measure was the transition to working from home, while keeping a very limited number of staff in our offices.

I have four children so working from home is like being in a crowded call centre. I am lucky that some days I have an opportunity to go to the office.

I enjoy the daily challenges of being the CFO of a large refinery. There is never a dull moment! I also get a great sense of value in contributing to the professional development of my team members. Witnessing their progress makes me feel proud.

I heard my daughter saying to her friend the other day: ‘My father promised to do it and he would never let me down.’ I think this is by far the biggest achievement in my life.

Teaching is my passion. I love it when I get a chance to touch someone’s life and make a positive contribution.  This is what I would do if I was not a finance specialist.

Basketball is my hobby and I sit on the board of a professional Turkish club. I also love classical Azerbaijani music and play the tar, a famous stringed musical instrument.