Celebrating Admin. Professionals’ Accomplishments
This week, we’re shining additional light on career accomplishments in which Real Careers alumni take pride. Here’s our third installment, with a range of accomplishments to applaud and celebrate.
Margo Baptista, Edmonton, Canada: Having become a parent at 16, I am particularly proud that I raised my daughter and my son (who was born six years later) pretty well on my own. I learned a lot from both of them. I am also very proud that I built a truly satisfying career and earned my undergraduate and graduate degrees along the way. I feel very blessed to finally be in a loving relationship – my husband came into my life through some very interesting circumstances that neither of us could have predicted.
Jennifer Corcoran, London, England: In 2015 I decided to challenge myself and go completely outside my comfort zone and enter some PA Awards. As an introvert it is something which I never thought I would do, but I wanted to firstly prove to myself that I was a worthy candidate – and to others including my managers and colleagues that I view my role as a valid and credible career choice. I believe that we deserve the same respect and recognition as any other profession.
I was shortlisted as a finalist for Pitman’s SuperAchiever PA of the Year and won the title of Networked PA at the London PA Awards. I was shortlisted for SecsintheCity’s Social Media PA of the Year and am a finalist again for Pitman’s SuperAchiever for the second year in a row. As Assistants, we need to embrace social media in order to stay current, connected and relevant. I was also honoured to be a part of Exceptional EA’s global panel for its series of blogs on the influence of social media.
Jessica Davis, California, USA: I would have to say that a couple of my biggest career accomplishments were both large events I led. The first was an annual incentive trip to Hawaii with 200+ people; I coordinated two such trips. I had, over a number of previous years, scheduled many meetings and workshops – but nothing quite as extensive as the Hawaii trip. This was an incentive trip for employees and their families. It required that I lead all of the travel planning, transportation, hotel, teams, events, dinners, golf, and everything in between – including meals which, as anyone who has planned events knows, is the hardest part. When you’re in charge of menus, it’s difficult to make everyone happy and you’ll always have that one person who is allergic to everything. You know who you are!
The second biggest accomplishment was an event I organised out of state for 500+ people. I did have the luxury of a nice budget and a wonderful event planning company, but we did struggle with planning around a huge Ebola scare right smack in the middle of the city we’d chosen. Despite the threat of the virus, we managed to pull off a vendor trade show, an indoor (thanks to the weather) carnival, and an offsite dinner and concert. We built a couple hundred bicycles for a local charity and announced a complete rebrand of two companies that became one on the very last day of the meeting. I feel silly when I say it, but the week was pretty epic. I’m very proud to say that I was a huge part of that.
Chantalle Freeborough, Wasaga Beach, Canada: Two career accomplishments I’m particularly proud of are receiving my QAA (Qualified Administrative Assistant) designation, designed for office professionals looking to keep skills up to date with current trends and meet the challenge of today’s demanding work force. The second is being inaugurated as Barrie-Simcoe County Branch President of the Association of Administrative Assistants.
Kim Glover, Teignmouth, England: Leading the Exeter PA Network has to be up there. That, and the amazing job I did mentoring and developing the oh so awesome Rebecca Eccles, my colleague and co-organiser of the Network. Rebecca was runner up for Newcomer of the Year in the Executive PA Magazine PA of the YearAwards in 2014, after only a year in a PA role. I take all the credit, of course (*giggles*).
Jill Goertzen, Delta, Canada: I planned and executed a ship naming ceremony which took place in Korea. There were a number of VIPs in attendance and over 100 attendees. I planned the event entirely from Canada and it went off flawlessly!
I’ve also completed my CAP-OM-TA designations through IAAP, the International Association of Administrative Professionals. The credentials are CAP (Certified Administrative Professional), OM (Organisational Management), and TA (Technology Applications). I studied for two+ months for the CAP-OM and wrote a two-day exam to achieve that credential. The TA took me about a year to achieve. I achieved this by studying material and submitting various assignments, all related to various technology applications. In order for me to maintain these designations, I need to re-certify every five years, which means I need to continually educate myself. I feel very proud to have these certifications!
Michela Luoni, Busto Arsizio, Italy: My former boss had never thought of needing an assistant. Thus, I was the novelty of the office when I joined Zodiak Active four years ago; this soon changed, given proven abilities to manage. Over the course of the years, I have faced many challenging situations (Christmas parties included!) and tasks that I accomplished with no specific training.
For example, the PR position was closed one year after my arrival and I was asked to manage the Press Office, press releases and reviews. I was also asked to deal with our corporate social media channels: LinkedIn, FB page, and Twitter. That was all new to me. I learned on the job, with the support of our social media managers, and I did so well that last year I gave a workshop to EUMA members, on “How to use social media for professional updating”.
Donna Olliver, Guernsey, England: I’d like to see Guernsey PA Connect grow so that as many PAs/EAs/Secretaries join as possible. We would like to be seen as the go-to people for assisting PAs/EAs/Secretaries to get where they would like to be in their careers. We help with training and networking, and even assist with finding venues and putting people in touch with those who can help them find out what they need to know. We really are a support network, and I’m very proud of every PA we have on our database as they are all committed to not only their personal brand but also the PA name and role.
Julia Schmidt, Norway: A few months after I started in a new company assisting a Vice President, my performance was recognised and awarded. I was nominated to participate in an internal Development Training for assistants. The one-year long development program included Project Management, Finance, Effective Communication & Business Language and Efficient Management Teams, among other subjects. It was a great opportunity to network and know more about the company’s business.
During my employment with the University, I studied part time with the Open University and obtained a BSc in Maths, IT and Design. Whilst these subjects are not entirely related to my employment, I am proud of this accomplishment and the skills and attributes gained through the discipline of studying are numerous and invaluable. I am also proud of the institution and people I work for – they are extremely talented scientists and clinicians, and healthcare improves daily through their research and patient care. The impact these colleagues have on people locally, nationally and internationally is astounding.