Real Careers: Proud Moments

Celebrating Admin. Professionals’ Accomplishments

We’ve already heard from 77 admin. professionals in 19 countries, and you can look forward to more Real Careers interviews later this month – including our first interviews from Australia and Greece.  As April 27 is Administrative Professionals Day, I thought it would be good to begin the celebrations early this month by re-examining inspirational insights from our Real Careers alumni. 

This Week

We’ll begin by shining additional light on career accomplishments in which our alum take pride. Enjoy checking in each day this week to see the scope and significance of individuals’ accomplishments!

Barlow, Amanda - UKAmanda Barlow, Cheshire, England: Setting up the Manchester PA Network has to be one of the proudest moments of my PA career. When we launched it in 2011, we were unsure as to how successful it would be. Safe to say, going from 50 to 500 members means it’s pretty successful.  I am also very proud to have won the Endless North West PA of the Year back in 2012. It was great to be recognised for all my hard work.

Joanna Campbell, Kelowna, Canada: I am proud of the relationships I have built and maintained. I think they are important to ensure I can do a good job, but they are also important to me personally.



Cowan, Lorna - Northern IrelandLorna Cowan, Northern Ireland: I’ve recently become involved in setting up the Belfast PA Networking Group with a small group of local PAs. We all recognised the need for a support network and wanted to develop our networking skills, and share ideas and practical advice. My Chief Executive is incredibly supportive of this and encourages me to build on my skills and network.
We try to meet regularly for lunch or something fun, and recently had an exclusive tour of the Game of Thrones set at Titanic Studios! We haven’t yet developed the network into something bigger but we do have a twitter account which I manage (@BelfastPAs). I enjoy being able to combine my love of marketing and social media with PA networking.

Eckworth, Sherri b - EnglandSherri Eckworth, Essex, England: During my career, two of my much respected bosses have taken me with them when they’ve moved on and I’m really proud of that. I’m also really proud to have won SecsintheCity PA of the Year in 2013 and to have been shortlisted for Executive PA Magazine’s PA of the Year in 2014.


Diana - GermanyDiana, Germany:  Last year, I got to spend two weeks in our subsidiary in Chicago plus an additional day visit in the Toronto office. This was a wonderful time for me, meeting my Canadian and US colleagues in person and working together on a few initiatives regarding employee engagement. This trip was not only a reward for my work, but also an important step for me in seeing the benefits of a company-wide network, which I try to intensify more frequently in my daily work.

Eden, Debs - EnglandDebs Eden, Bristol, England: I’ve been an award winning PA and used this to launch a secondary career in mentoring (which I love). I’m also very proud of the Bristol PA Network which I set up from a start point of nothing – I didn’t have any members or speakers but, one year on, I have a membership of nearly 200 and have put on some great events!

Gottberg, Maria - SwedenMaria Gottberg, Nynäshamn, Sweden: I won the Office Professional Award in 2014, and have had the opportunity to lecture on “how to be a team with your manager” at various gatherings with other assistants.


Martinez, Christina - US - 2015-10-05Christina Martinez, New York, USA: The accomplishment I am most proud of is when I was asked by my former boss to lead the implementation of a new travel agency and travel program. It was a project that took 18 months from signature of contract through the launch of the new web reservation tool and training of corporate travellers.

 Paula Moio, London, England:  I am proud of how I managed to get right back on track after leaving my job and my country. This represented a six-year journey and a cross-continent move; what I endured as an emigrant had a profound impact on my career. I decided to leave the comfort zone of my country in 1994. My twin girls were only nine months old, and I was a young single parent embodying an old Portuguese saying: “with bravery in my face and courage in my hands”. We set off to what was to become the most enlightening and extraordinary journey of our lives.

Olsen, Lisa - USALisa Olsen, Sacramento, USA: I acted as the interim Human Resource Director for a year while they recruited for a permanent position. This was exciting and challenging! I am also very grateful and proud of seeing my dream come to reality as Admin to Admin has evolved. I work with two incredible partners and executive assistants, Linda McFarland and Stacy Leitner. It’s been an exciting journey!

Robertson-Avenell, Julia - UKJulia Robertson-Avenell, England: I’m extremely proud of my Hays Highest Achieving PA of the Year  2014 award. It proves that hard work and determination can be rewarded. I’m also chuffed that I completed my NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Equality and Diversity as it’s been a long time since I studied and I had great support from my tutor Matt at Rise Training throughout the course.

Vaillancourt, Katherine - OntarioKatherine Vaillancourt, Mississauga, Canada: While working at Heritage Mississauga, coordination of the 200th Anniversary events for the City was one of my proudest moments. This week-long event was a significant accomplishment and, through the events hosted, we were able to strengthen relationships between the First Nations and the city politicians.

My second proudest moment would be while working for another company; I was able to develop an assistants’ network for all the assistants in the organisation. This brought forth camaraderie and support for one another, meeting monthly to keep up to date on what was going on in each area, and relationship building.

Want, Matthew - EnglandMatthew Want, Staines, England:  I would say that my proudest moment was going with Lucy (Brazier) when she spoke at Buckingham Palace. Last year Lucy was invited to speak to the PAs at the Palace; I organised all the arrangements for Lucy attending the event, and was asked if I would like to come along as well. This was the opportunity of a lifetime; I remember thinking that it wasn’t going to happen, or it wasn’t real. The whole experience was definitely a career highlight for me that I can’t see happening again.

Wells, Teri - South AfricaTeri Wells, Roodekrans, South Africa: I was anonymously nominated for the PA of the Year award for 2012 /13 and it was an amazing feeling to know that what I was doing did not go unnoticed. I found out afterwards that it was one of my bosses who nominated me. Going on to win the title is something I am very proud of, and the resultant opportunities are a constant reminder of my achievement.

Being asked to write for Career Success (a South African publication) and Executive Secretarywas probably the scariest thing, from a career perspective, that I have ever tried. I continue to try and continue to learn and I really love the challenge.


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