L’indispensable is proud to introduce you Samantha Hatzopoulos, our Assistant of the month for January. Samantha is an Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer at Mavrik Corporation. She shares with us her vision of the profession as well as her experience being an Assistant.
1. In your opinion, what would be the quality an Assistant must have to progress in her career?
Although there are many attributes which an Executive Assistant must possess (such as effective communication, adaptability, loyalty, being proactive and a whole lot more), having good judgment is what’s essential. As an EA you don’t work with much direction, so judgment, and the ability to make sound decisions without supervision, is critical. You need to be able to anticipate and recognize problems, and quickly find an appropriate resolution to them.
2. What is the most stimulating aspect of your role?
I love the variety that an Executive Assistant role offers. As an EA you are touching upon and working across many departments and key aspects of a company’s operations, and therefore working with different personalities and building relationships with many different people. I never repeat the same day twice. My tasks are extremely variable, but also incredibly exciting.
The irregular schedule really appeals to me as someone who craves new challenges on a daily basis. Instead of being overwhelmed by a constantly changing schedule, I thrive under it.
Also, as an Executive Assistant I learn constantly, whether it’s learning straight from my employer, collaborating with others on the team, or simply learning by solving problems and tackling projects. You most likely will need to resolve or address something unprecedented on a weekly basis, if not more. So you really do learn new things every single day. I find this exhilarating because I’m naturally curious about many subjects and find a learning opportunity in everything.
3.What advice would you give to someone who would like to start a career in the administrative field?
Be flexible. You must be versatile enough to handle tasks ranging from the mundane to the more complex on a daily basis. Your ability to adapt to new technology and work theories, and your willingness to continue your training and education will be invaluable to your employers. Also, know that the demands placed on an EA can be overwhelming at times. You will need to adopt a calm yet firm approach to your tasks and the people you work and deal with. Be confident, yet humble.
4.In your opinion, what is the lesser known aspect of the Assistant profession?
Sometimes it is misconstrued that an EA works exclusively for their executive. However, great assistants are very, very collaborative. They understand the business they’re in as well as the motivations of their executive, and they are always communicating this, in some form, with the team. Executive assistants typically occupy a support role, but they also play a strategic management role. In a way, you are a business partner, you understand the politics of a given situation, and you understand how the business functions as a whole.
5.What is the computer software/mobile application you wouldn’t be able to work without?
Any calendar application!
6. In your opinion, what is the best resource an Assistant can have? (Someone, a software, a particular service, etc.)
Hands down, your peers and contacts. Your best allies will always be: your boss, the people you work with, other assistants and the contacts you’ve made along the way. Building on these relationships is crucial. You need to be able to recognise that there will always be someone that knows more or has more experience. These are good things! It means that if you are open minded you can learn and get great advice from these seasoned individuals. And they will be the best resource and help you can ever ask for.
7.What is your most significant achievement as an Assistant?
I had always been hard on myself for not getting a university degree. Early on in my career I worried that I would never be able to progress without a degree. Of course, this wasn’t the case for me. I worked very hard to advance my career and to accomplish the things I have. Today, I am very proud of where I am in my profession and have been extremely fortunate to have worked with some incredible and dynamic executives.
8. What can we wish you for the rest of your career?
My ongoing career goal is to continue working with influential people that inspire me and push me to succeed, and to go on collaborating on compelling and interesting projects.