Case study

Executive assistant — Louise Kendall

Discover how Louise progressed from a temporary personal assistant job to a full-time executive assistant role

How did you get your job?

Following my relocation to London, I was able to secure work as a support worker, which I did for a year while I settled into my new life.

I then found a position within office administration for a pharmaceutical company who make and distribute contact lenses - Feel Good Contacts - this was initially a temporary role but it has now been extended. I have worked for the company for over a year.

Although my degree isn't completely relevant, the skills that I learned while studying have proved very useful. As I take on more responsibility I am finding that I am using more from my degree on a day-to-day basis.

Gain as much experience as you can, listen to any and all advice that is given to you and to persevere with looking for your perfect job

What's a typical day like?

Predominantly, my job is ensuring that the office runs smoothly, so I am responsible for answering and dealing with phone calls and emails. I manage the diary for the CEO, which also entails making travel arrangements and booking hotel accommodation. I am also responsible for ensuring that confidential paperwork is managed correctly and then filed appropriately.

My role includes responsibility for HR, an example being creating contracts for new staff. To ensure the efficient operation of the office, I also purchase all the supplies that are required, ensuring stock levels of frequently used items are maintained, while checking that purchases are cost effective and that delivery is timely.

How has your role developed?

Although I was recruited as a personal assistant (PA), I quickly found that I was being asked to help out with the other departments when required. I have assisted with various tasks for the accounts team, and I am currently assisting our marketing team with their social media campaigns.

As I become more involved in the office administration of the company, and my competencies are being recognised, I am finding that I now have sole responsibility for many different areas, and I am no longer just a PA.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I thoroughly enjoy working with all the staff and I liaise with every team in the organisation, which is a great opportunity to get to know everyone.

My role is about communication I really enjoy being able to talk and interact with lots of different people.

Every day is different, I never know what is coming next and I thoroughly enjoy this challenge. I find the work and the staff really interesting and as the work is fast paced, each day passes quickly.

What are the challenges?

One of the main challenges is managing my time effectively and prioritising my workload to ensure that I am up to date. I am not always able to help other teams if I do not have the time to complete the work and I have to say no on occasion which is a challenge.

What advice would you give to others?

My advice to anyone about to graduate is to gain as much experience as you can, listen to any and all advice that is given to you and to persevere with looking for your perfect job - it is out there.

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