1. How did you go from a Member Liaison & Events Manager to an EA at the beginning of your career? Why did the role of EA appeal to you?

I was really lucky – I had temped in Australia for a little while as a PA while I was ‘backpacking’ so it wasn’t completely foreign to me. I felt the appeal of office-life over night-life and it was definitely time to focus on having some structure to my week. The hours were a bit unpredictable when I was at Soho House!

2. What was the best EA role you have ever had and why?

I think the best roles can’t all be good – there is rough and smooth. These roles are the ones where you grow and develop into your best self for that time. Reaching your potential is always the goal. To that end – I’d say working for Charlotte Tilbury MBE, was my most favourite EA role. I travelled with all over the world with her, and really carved out a position for myself – it was a lot of work but super fulfilling and I made life-long friends there.

3. Many PAs/EAs these days are required to make complex international travel arrangements over multiple time zones. What are some of your top tips to ace this much needed skill?

Honestly the world clock on my phone is your best friend if you need to check something quickly time zone wise. I also add an additional time zone view in outlook for my most commonly used time zones – that really helps with quick scheduling. And selecting the client’s time zone in the meeting invite – so you ensure they are prioritised, and clear when they are meant to be dialling in.

4. Aside from being highly organised, calm, and practical, what are some skills you think an EA needs to be successful in today’s world?

I think there’s a level of desensitising that we go through (like an initiation of sorts) if we are going to make it long-term with some creative and difficult Principals. Resilience is key – but also – don’t take on too if your mental health is sufferingalways speak to someone and get some support on how to manage difficult situations! I think that’s a great workshop idea actually – role playing tough cookie situations. You are welcome! Haha!

5. In your most recent role, you often attending meetings on your boss behalf…what does it take to earn that level of trust?

Showing that you understand the context of what they are doing, really helps, and relaying the information back to them to start with and having conversations around the various topics, asking questions, and building your confidence with knowledge. Sometimes it’s just being proactive and making suggestions to streamline processes – this can build confidence and let’s your Exec know you genuinely care and want to help – a bit outside of the normal diary and travel asks. As your confidence grows then their confidence in you grows too!

6. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome working for some of the top names in their industries?

Working back to back was always a tough one – but it got better with time. Whether it was at Soho House night shifts then morning shifts, or traveling with Charlotte or Cat at MPCH Labs to LA and working on the plane and then straight off the plane without much time to rest. But that also made it fun!

7. What person, place or thing changed the direction of your life?

I’d say my husband James – I was a bit of a tornado before – burning the candle at both ends, now my life has a lot more focus, and it’s great to be part of a team 😊

8. You have a handmade travel accessories brand, The Elliotts Store? Was this inspired by your career and how do you manage to maintain a side hustle with a busy EA role?

I started this in Lockdown with my husband as he is a Branding Expert!! He owns the creative agency Two Times Elliott, so I was super lucky to have his support – with packaging, branding, website and the customer experience. I just had to design and make the bags!!!

9. What is your biggest achievement as an EA?

I think still being here and doing what I love – that’s a huge achievement in itself.

10. What advice would you give a young PA/EA, looking to eventually support a celebrity or HNWI?

I would say respect them, 100%, but remember they are humans like us and their ‘way’ is often coming from a reaction of something that’s going on in their life – whether that is in business or private life – so perhaps as their Assistant you have a bit more insight as to why things happen the way they do. Working for a high -profile person is a privilege yes, and can be glamourous from the outside – but it’s bloody hard work behind the scenes to make it look easy and get them where they need to be. It takes a LOT of emotional intelligence and juggling.

11. What is the best self-development book you have read and why?

I’m reading ‘Buddha and the Baddass’ by Vishen Lakhiani.

Something about the way he thinks and describes his life and challenges really resonates with me because he started with nothing, slept on a sofa and managed to meet the love of his life before making it finally – and launching MindValley – which is also a platform I LOVE and regularly utilise. Meditation has helped me a lot too. Manifesting what you want and also deserve by the way – it’s super healthy to keep that in your focus.