India Leishman

Tell us about what you do?

I work for Astrea, an Asset Management firm in Mayfair. I've been with Astrea since September 2022 and really love the team I work alongside. We are a smaller business with just 15 employees, and we all work in one open-plan office. In my opinion, we have one of the nicest offices in London as well as a fabulous CEO leading the charge.  

What was your experience of finding your first PA role?

When I first arrived in London after travelling for five months, I was in need of work and a consistent pay check. A friend connected me with Hetty from Bain & Gray and I'm so grateful that she did. I was very impressed with how quickly the B&G team were able to place me into an EA role with a great and quite notable company. I truly do believe the businesses in London that B&G work with are top-tier, irrespective of their industry. Hetty was a great communicator and made the process of securing a job very seamless. I think without the B&G team this process would have been much more stressful.

What three attributes do you think make a good PA?

Having initiative and being proactive are two qualities that I think are most important for EA's and PA's. Get your work done as soon as a task is given to you and make sure you do it to a high standard. It's also so appreciated when you look for other jobs you can take off your executives' plates. I also think being positive and having a bubbly attitude goes very far. People appreciate positive energy in the workplace and if you can bring that to someone's day, it'll make your workplace a better environment for everyone. 

What makes your day easier/what or who couldn’t you live without?

My fellow EA at Astrea, Lucy. She manages the other half of the Astrea executive team and we get along so well. Lucy brings great energy to our workplace and is always looking out for me. She's always on hand whenever I need help with slightly trickier or more confusing tasks and she's a really fantastic EA. Very organised, calm and level-headed and can always find a way to solve a problem.   

What advice would you give to candidates finding their first job in a support role in London?

Be resilient and patient. You may find that the first role you land isn't your dream job. Perhaps the location is a bit far away or the pay isn't quite what you had hoped, but London is a very competitive market to work in, so go into your first role and give it everything you have. Impress your team and keep checking in with your manager to get feedback on how you are doing. Your career and job can change in the blink of an eye and you never know where that first role might take you. You may end up meeting a contact through the first job that ends up getting you closer to your dream role. Stick with it I say!   

When you’re not being one of London’s top PAs, what do you enjoy doing?

At the moment, I am spending all my spare time exploring every nook and cranny of London. I'm still so new here and there is so much to see and experience. I mostly spend my weekends exploring new boroughs and walking around. I feel so lucky to be living in this city. What a place to be!