Real Careers: Proud Moments 5

Celebrating Admin. Professionals’ Accomplishments

This week, we’re shining additional light on career accomplishments in which Real Careers alumni take pride. Here’s our final installment, with a range of accomplishments to applaud and celebrate. 

Driver, Giulietta - UKGiuletta Driver, London, England: I began my career as a Finance & Admin. Assistant in the arts, so I’m really proud of how I’ve managed to move across sectors and switch focus to being a PA. I started as Executive PA at Homeless Link in August 2012. In June 2015, I was formally given HR and Office Management as part of my remit, largely because (I think) I’ve shown willingness to take on new tasks and learn new skills. I really embraced the adoption of Salesforce as our database, so now I run a Salesforce-based HR system and have been trained as a system administrator.


Francis, MelissaMelissa Francis, West Sussex, England:  I am really proud to have joined the Trust’s Staff Ambassador team. It’s a pleasure to help and support others in and around the Trust and I’m very much aware of the opportunities the Ambassador role has offered me. I believe it has positively contributed to the personal growth and development within my EA role.

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!


Lowrence, MarionMarion Lowrence, Leeds, England: Knowing the fantastic feeling of winning PA Awards myself in the past, I am particularly proud of the recentPA Hub Awards which have enabled others to achieve. I still pinch myself that I run my own business, and have enjoyed every second of setting up The PA Hub and more recently getting on the Entrepreneurial Spark programme. Finding out I have been shortlisted for the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards has been another huge career accomplishment.


Bernstein, DalyaDalya PerryBernstein, England:  Actually getting through the interview stages to getting the role I am in now is something I am really proud of. It was a difficult time for me, having been made redundant during the credit crunch and not having substantial PA experience at the time. That was almost six years ago and so much has happened in that time. Another of my accomplishments is winning my awards, which I will come to later.

Rees, HelenHelen Rees, Hampshire, England: In my current role, I am very proud to have brought the organisation’s admin systems more up to date, particularly with regard to the Board. The irony of us being a conservation charity, and yet printing off whole forests’ worth of Board papers every other month was not lost on me. We now have our Trustees weaned off paper packs and onto electronic distribution, which has saved us a huge amount of resources and money, and makes the whole operation much more efficient and effective. They also have access to the intranet, which makes communication and information sharing much easier.

I am proud every time I see a meeting or event running smoothly and meeting objectives, and the zoo choir also remains a huge career highlight, although not part of my core role.

Sneijkers, Chantal
Chantal Sneijkers
, Lede, Belgium: Before I joined the commercial television station, I worked at the public television station’s sports department as a management assistant. In that role, I was able to attend the Olympic Games of Beijing in 2008. I was responsible for the logistics of our team and it was a great, unique experience.



Stevens, Melanie - UKMelanie Stevens, Devon, England: A career accomplishment I’m particularly proud of is ranking sixth on Eventopedia’s “The PA Club Top 250 Social Media Power List”.  I am very active on social media and it is pleasing when this is recognised.


Thomas, Catherine - WalesCatherine Thomas, Wales: The NHS Wales PA Network is something I am very proud off. It came to life after a conference 10+ years ago, where Susie Barron-Stubley spoke about the value of PA networks. By the time I had commuted back to Wales from London, I had written a business plan illustrating how we were going to implement a network in my organisation. My Director didn’t bat an eyelid at my idea. She did, however, challenge me to implement the network across NHS Wales and not just the six PAs reflected in my business plan! Nine years later, the NHS Wales PA network has 420 EAs, PAs and Admin Assistants registered.  Every other month (work permitting), I issue newsletters about the wider PA world and I organise two NHS Wales PA conferences per year.

In my mind, 2016 is the year for PA development and I am really keen to get PA trainers/magazines and conference organisers to think about the PAs based outside the London area.  #PAsarebasedeverywherenotjustLondon is gathering momentum, and trainers have already been in touch to talk dates and venues. I owe a lot to Susie Barron-Stubley. I will always be grateful to her for her encouragement to start to network and to my Director Sally Attwood for the push.


Unger, Barbra - CanadaBarbara Unger, London, Canada: At a time when our company was growing, I researched and developed a team of four executive assistants who would partner with and support an executive team of seven. It was an intense few months as I coached the new EAs in all things admin. related, and in best practices to partnering with your executive for mutual success.


Butler, CatherineCatherine Williamson, Guildford, England: I co-founded a network of PAs in Westminster (Network PA SW1) with a friend, Gill Quirk, who works in Whitehall, where our government departments are predominantly based. It’s gone from strength to strength and I’m incredibly proud of that. The highlight was when a group of PAs decided to set up an internal PA network following one of our meetings. We celebrate our third birthday in 2016.

Gill also nominated me for the Hays PA / Executive PA Magazine PA of the Year in 2013, and I was second runner-up, so I’m quite proud of that, too.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: