PA Diaries: 5 Minutes with Executive Assistant Emily Jepson

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Let’s jump straight in and get to know you a little better. To everyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of meeting you before, tell us about yourself….

I am currently working at GWI, a leading audience targeting company. I’m Executive Assistant for the CEO and Founder and have recently been promoted to manage the PA Team.

Tell us more about how you became an Assistant and your journey to where you are now?

I completed the Executive PA Diploma at Oxford Media & Business School – such good fun! I found this course because I was unsure whether I wanted to go to university. My career started as an Assistant at a law firm and then moved into the charity sector which was hugely rewarding.

Following a move to London, I found my current role in the tech world, and I absolutely love it!

What do you love most about being an Assistant?

I love being an assistant because no two days are ever the same and I never know what tomorrow will bring. My schedule is so varied, interesting, and unpredictable. I also love working with a variety of people across the business and externally. Finally, I enjoy helping people work more efficiently by taking tasks off their plate and problem solving in many ways.

What do you wish you could change about the business support industry?

I’d love for others to have a greater understanding of what our roles entail.
Sometimes our work can be invisible, and others may not realise that assistants take on a lot and often go unrecognised for their efforts.

What do you believe is the real key to success as an Assistant?

Communication skills are needed to be a great assistant – it’s important that you can communicate well and build rapport to create a strong partnership.

As there is a lot of pressure in our roles, I think it’s important to have a good sense of humour for the tough days.

Finally, being proactive is key to ensure you are one step ahead of the game.

What has been the biggest challenge of your career as an Assistant and how did you overcome it?

I think a big challenge has been working with individuals who have different personalities and characteristics. It’s so important for assistants to understand them and how they can manage their expectations. I found it useful to have an initial way of working meeting to establish this from the beginning.

If you met yourself on day one of your career as an Assistant, what would the one piece of advice you would give yourself?

I was hesitant to ask for assistance as I believed that I should know it all, on day one. The business support industry has such a strong network so make sure you go to the events and build those relationships. (The Assistant Room events are great!)

I would also tell myself the following:

– Be confident and empowered! Never apologise for taking up space in your exec’s diary. They need you to be effective in their role!

– Make sure you have your notebook with you – note everything down because you definitely won’t remember it all.

– If you are unsure of what has been asked of you – make sure you ask clarifying questions.

Do you want to be featured in our longest running campaign ‘The PA Diaries’? Email us at hello@theassistantroom.com for more information.