Tell us about what you do?
I’m an Executive Assistant to VP at Instagram
How did you get your career started as a PA?
I started in the art world, as a Press Assistant/PA at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and decided I liked being a PA far more than dealing with the press and journalists!
What was your experience of finding your first PA role?
In terms of applying for the role- I was one of 600 applicants for the role! I had a lot of interning experience in museums, so that helped, and I’d had summer jobs temping as a PA before, so I had a rough idea of what the role would be like.
What person, place or thing changed the direction of your life?
At college I took a touch typing course run by the Schools’ Secretary, on old fashioned typewriters. Because of her, I can touch type at 88 wpm and it was very useful when I had to register with temping agencies and later on, take notes at Board meetings!
What has been your most challenging PA role to date and why?
Working in fashion was challenging, due to time frames, personalities and the long hours.
What about your role do you like most?
I like being integral to the companies’ success, and being able to direct my own work load.
What’s your biggest achievement as a PA?
I’ve won several EA/PA of the Year awards, and that’s been amazing.
What’s the biggest hurdle you have had to overcome as a PA?
Learning how to work with difficult personalities!
If you could pick up a new skill what would it be?
I would love to be able to pick up new languages with ease!
What advice would you give to candidates finding their first job in a support role in London?
Be open to industry and sectors, investigate what your next 3 years could look like and how you want to progress, and identify any skills or techniques you would like to learn. Practically- think about how long your commute will be!
What makes your day easier/what or who couldn’t you live without?
Having enough time in between meetings to complete actions!
What three attributes do you think make a good PA?
Flexibility, adaptability, being calm.
What are you most proud of?
Mentoring and coaching up and coming, as well as established, EAs and PAs is something I really enjoy doing and watching other admins achieve success.
What advice would you give to a young PA starting their career?
Start networking with other admins, join some appropriate admin groups, and attend as many admin events as you can. Get a coach or mentor to learn how to grow your role, and start thinking about what your ideal career would look like.
How different do you think the role of EA/PA will differ in 10 years?
I hope we move towards more companies embracing a Chief of Staff role and investing in their admin community.
When you’re not being one of London’s top PAs, what do you enjoy doing?
At the weekends I’m a wedding registrar and I marry happy couples all over London!
What are you looking forward to professionally in the future?
I’m always interested in growing and learning, so can’t wait to see what the future holds!