London's Top PA: Hollie Perks

This week we caught up with our February London's Top PA - Hollie Perks!

1. How did you get your career started as a PA? I began my career in fundraising events for charities, the last role I had was a maternity cover and an EA position came up for the Executive Director – we had worked so closely together whilst I was in events that it seemed to make sense and click into place quite easily. 

2. What was your experience of finding your first PA role? I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time, and for the Executive Director to already have trust in me and be aware of my transferable skills.

3. What has been your most challenging PA role to date and why? The most challenging role is also one I’ve enjoyed the most – a role which is incredibly fast paced and constantly changing. It was challenging to keep up with and be proactive as well as reactive, but it kept me on my toes and every day was different. It showed me what I was capable of.

4. How does it differ from previous jobs? I love that every day is different, you really don’t know what you’ll walk into in the morning or how the day will pan out.

5. Who has been your most inspirational boss and why? I have been lucky enough to work with several inspirational people, but they all have a similar attribute in their dedication to values and fairness, leading by example and being focused – whether that is on clients or the vulnerable people I’ve worked with in the charity sector.

6. Biggest achievement as a PA? Recently I organised 65 important meetings over 2 days for a range of experts at a large Global Exhibition – I attended in person and could really see the impact these meetings were having, and how a well-thought through schedule can make everyone’s lives so much easier!

7. Biggest hurdle you have had to overcome as a PA? …probably organising 65 meetings over 2 days J It was a challenge but that’s one of the reasons I have such a sense of achievement

8. Do you feel valued as a PA? Do you think PAs get enough recognition? Yes I feel valued, I have a peer-to-peer relationship with the Partner I work with. I fully feel like a part of his team.

9. What advice would you give to candidates finding their first job in a support role in London? The network of PA’s and EA’s in London is huge and diverse – make the most of it!

10. What three attributes do you think make a good PA? Being able to problem solve creatively, attention to detail and a positive attitude – someone who can go above and beyond is crucial

11. What makes your day easier/ what or who couldn’t you live without? The other EA’s I sit with – we support each other when things get busy but also have a real laugh throughout the day.

12. What are you most proud of? Raising more than £4million for charity – I am proud of what I achieved as a Fundraising Events Manager in a short time, although my life at the moment feels much more sustainable for work/life balance!

13. What advice would you give to a young PA starting their career? Be prepared to learn quickly and take every opportunity to get more involved where you can, it gives you a better understanding of the person you’re working with, his/her working life and how you can further improve. The relationship with the person/people you’re working with is key – develop this quickly and instil trust in your capability. I really think this is a role you can make your own.