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Career Story: Administrative Assistant At A Silk-Screening Store

Administrative Assistant At A Silk-Screening Store

Job Title: Administrative Assistant

Type of Company: My company provides screen printing services for local schools and businesses, restaurants, colleges and family reunions.

Education: 1 year at Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA

Previous Experience: I was part-owner with my husband on a retail gift store.

Job Tasks: On a typical day, I open our office and get it ready for business, turning on machines and re-stocking supplies. I pay the bills, make deposits, check inventory and complete the filing and invoicing. This is a small business and everyone who works here lends a hand. Some days I work in production and coordinate jobs for the printers, other days I work in the front, helping customers choose designs, colors and sizes.

We try to keep inventory to a minimum, ordering only enough stock for in-house jobs. But there's a steady demand for promotional advertising on mugs, water bottles and t-shirts and inks, silk screens and cleaning supplies are the staples of our trade. All of these have to be ordered. Embroidery (for items such as bags, polo shirts, hats and totes) is another service we offer, and we keep a graphic artist on site to create designs from scratch or enhance those that people bring in.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The worst part of the job is the constant cash flow crisis. Most schools have a policy of paying late. For other jobs, and from other customers, we require a deposit, but January and February are still slow, and you have to have reserves to carry you through them.

The best part of my job is working with the community and creating lots of different artwork for area schools and clubs, etc.

Job Tips: In any business, you have to have a business plan. Research your product and location and make sure the demographics can support it. Realize too that it takes time for a business to grow and that time equates to money.

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