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Career Story: Administrative Assistant At An International Aid Organization

Administrative Assistant At An International Aid Organization

Job Title: Administrative Assistant

Type of Company: I work for an international institution that assists countries with their economic and financial development.

Education: BA, Information Technology, State University of La Paz (Bolivia)

Previous Experience: I have worked for USAID, ECLAC and the World Bank as an administrative assistant.

Job Tasks: My main responsibility is providing administrative assistance to the team I work with. This includes arranging meetings; preparing travel documents (passports, visas, etc.); proofreading and editing the documents the team will be taking; proofreading and editing documents and publications produced by our staff, and much else. I also create and format complex tables and charts for these documents and create PowerPoint presentations for various types of meetings.

Once or twice a year I travel abroad with a team of staff members and assist them in organizing their meetings and in preparing the documents that summarize the agreements they reach. I help my department's senior members to organize seminars and workshops for staff; I also oversee the departmental tracking system, a database we use to track the review process required by our auditors. I also assist the department in the preparation of briefing material for the managing director's international trips or for visits to us from abroad. I participate in several working groups that meet to coordinate the administrative activities needed to run a smooth department.

And like any other administrative assistant, I help my co-workers to troubleshoot their computer problems, especially software problems.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the opportunity I get to travel abroad. I have traveled to countries all over the world and I get to travel first-class and stay at the best hotels.

The worst part would have to be some of the menial tasks I am assigned that sometimes include filing and xeroxing.

Job Tips:
1.) Learn as much office software as you can, especially Outlook, Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint, and PeopleSoft.

2.) Study grammar: correcting other people's English is a critical part of the job.

3.) Learn to set priorities and to manage your time.

4.) Develop your communication skills and, if possible, get some genuine diversity training, spending time among people of other nationalities.

Additional Thoughts: A BA in business administration, finance, economics, management, human resources, or information technology is necessary to be considered for this position.

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